Airbnb for students Uniplaces raises $24m

The ‘AirBnB for student accommodation’ Uniplaces has raised a $24m Series A round led by London-headquartered Atomico, joined by existing backers Octopus Ventures and Shilling Capital Partners, along with Portugal’s Caixa Capital.

The idea was conceived in the UK back in 2012 by its three cofounders, Miguel Amaro, Ben Grech and Mariano Kostelec, who met at university.

Today, the startup has 40,000 rooms listed in 38 cities across Europe, from having a presence in just six places in 2014.

It has also generated some $25m for landlords since launch.

Mattias Ljungman, partner at Atomico, said: “Uniplaces is solving a major pain point among students everywhere. There are 160 million young people in higher education looking for a better way to manage their university housing experience. It is great to see this team from Portugal that’s rethinking the overall student experience – starting with housing.”

The team, which now numbers some 120 people, is currently working across Lisbon and London.

The angel investors who joined the round also make for impressive reading, including founders from King.com, Klarna, Supercell and Albion Group.

Uniplaces has also taken on former head of international operations at AirBnB Martin Reiter as an investor and its advisor on the company’s international expansion.

London’s Octopus Investments led an earlier $3.5m round put into the company back in October 2014, as well as an early first injection of cash back in 2013.