A startup building an end-to-end platform for students moving abroad
Mumbai-based startup Adventum Student Living (ASL) began its journey in 2019 as a cross-border student accommodation platform for students moving abroad for education.
Founded by Amit Singh and Sayantan Biswas, ASL has since expanded its portfolio. From, which provides accommodation services, the startup has also added financing solution UniCreds, and counselling service UniScholarz to its platform in 2021.
“The journey we are on is that we are building a student mobility platform for higher education. Any student who is on a journey to go abroad has these three buckets of challenges--starting with counselling, going to financing, and then when where will they live. We are building a platform where once the students are in our ecosystem, they can avail one or all three,” says Co-founder Amit.
Currently, the company has access to more than 10 banking partners to secure financing as well as over 10,000 properties across 10 countries such as UK, US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and Germany.
ASL says that it has been a profitable venture from the first year of operation while growing at 400% year-on-year (YoY).
How it works
ASL’s oldest offering, UniAcco, works as a marketplace where its partners with a mix of conventional housing (standalone houses, apartments, housing societies, etc) as well as Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) providers on the supply side and lists them on its website. On the demand side, it connects students looking for accommodation.
The startup also provides a few add-on services which are bundled with its accommodation offering like pre-boarding and post-landing service which includes help with visas, airport pick-up, and pre-activated overseas SIM cards.
So far, the startup has completed 30,000 bookings in 145 countries. It also has 6 million users signed up on the platform.
UniCreds is a marketplace for education loans. On the marketplace, students can access financing options from banks, and other financial institutions including Avanse Financial Services, HDFC Credila, InCred, Axis Bank, and ICICI Bank, among others.
UniAcco is present in 9 countries, UniCreds in 8, and Unischolarz in 10 countries.
Under UniScholarz, which started with a UK focus, students can speak with counsellors and experts in the field to understand the geographies and courses that meet their needs. It now covers the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
About 70% of ASL’s revenue comes from UniAcco, 20% from UniCreds, and 5% from UniScholarz.
The student housing market
According to a report by ICEF, occupancy rates in student housing have returned to pre-pandemic levels in many destinations. This is partly a function of greater numbers of students returning to study on campus after deferring studies, or following courses remotely, over the last two years of the pandemic, the report added.
A 2021 analysis from RedSeer Strategy Consultants approximated that 8 lakh students studying abroad. The report forecasted this number to double by 2024 to reach up to 1.8 million outbound students with total spending forecast at between $75-$85 billion by that point (a spending outlook that reflects anticipated inflation in tuition fees as well as living expenses).
In May 2022, ASL raised $5 million in a funding round led by Suresh Pareek, Founder of Ideal Cures, Vipul Jain through his investment vehicle Baaya International, Vikas Phadnis, Co-founder of EuroKids through his vehicle Auctus Capital, and Shreeji Brothers among others.
The startup is looking to raise another round of funds in the current financial year.
With UniAcco, the founders plan on expanding to the US which is the largest destination market for students looking to move abroad. The student mobility platform aims to be present in all 50 states.
The startup also aims to expand to China, which is the largest source market in the study abroad industry.
“Entering China today, with the geopolitical conditions, is difficult. There is no Google, and no WhatsApp. So, we are building something exclusively for China strategy,” says Sayantan.
Currently, UniCreds is only catering to the financial needs of Indian students. However, going forward the startup wants to expand this product in the source markets as it already has partnerships with international lenders.
UniCreds will also be providing loans to US-based students for education in the US.
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti