Bubble Student is a platform that lists over 200,000 student rooms. Students can find their house, view it (traditionally and virtually) and sign the contract without leaving their sofa.
The platform uses intelligent property suggestion (AI & machine learning), instant viewing scheduling and a group chat feature to simplify the search process. Bubble Student is an app that helps students sort their deposit, rent and even their bills, all at the touch of a button.
Problem and solution
Substantial accomplishments to date
Having launched a proof of concept in November 2016, we raised our pre-seed round of £210,000 in Q1 2017, and appointed veteran financier Rupert Hambro as Chairman of the business.
Since our full launch in October 2017 we have grown to the current metrics:
Bubble Student have also been accepted on to the Google Cloud Startup Program allowing Bubble Student to build exceptionally high quality tech with 24hr access to an account team at Google.
As part of this total investment round we have received substantial pre-emption commitments from existing shareholders and external investment from VC firm Hambro Perks.
Our revenue comes from the following key sources.
Commission from property providers:
- We take a commission on each successful let that comes through the Bubble Student platform.
- We are building a network of fantastic partners and advertisers offering great deals to our students.
- The use of 360 technology has been proven to cut conversion time from lead to completion, saves time and money by reducing the need to take students on property viewings and offers a greater visual experience and analysis of housing options then ever before.
- This is another fantastic service provided by Bubble Student to our clients.
- Bubble Student offers great value gadget insurance for students around the UK, giving them cover on the things they love at home, university and even at festivals!
Use of proceeds
The funds will be distributed across the following areas:
Sales & Marketing - 50%.
- Having proven the model works it is now time to grow the team and scale our strategy both in marketing and in sales. This includes digital marketing and lead generation.
Product Development - 40%.
- Having opened a development office in Lisbon, Portugal, we want the ability to expand the technology team to be able to increase our velocity, this includes new product rollouts and improvements.
Support - 10%.
- Continued Legal, financial administration and operational support will be needed as Bubble Student scales.
Please note: All perks are optional. Accepting the £500 cash prize or 3 months free insurance may make you ineligible for tax relief, both on upfront tax relief, and ineligible for relief on capital gains tax in the future.
We operate a B2B2C Model, with our target customers listed below.
Universities/PBSA providers with 10+ properties.
Highstreet letting agencies with multiple properties.
Individuals with one or more properties.
TIER 1 BRANDS:
Institutions such as banks and insurance companies.
TIER 2 BRANDS:
Smaller student focussed brands.
2.3m UK Student Population (Undergraduate & Postgraduate).
1m UK Students in rented accommodation (Undergraduate).
207m Student Population.
Characteristics of target market
In the UK alone the addressable student housing market value is £5.9bn, with annual student spend worth £20bn.
International student enrollment growing year on year, with 438,000 in 2016.
The number of students around the globe enrolled in higher education is forecast to more than double to 262 million by 2025.
- In-house rent collection systems.
- Prime close-to-campus locations.
- All-inclusive bills.
- 10+ properties on average.
- Uses third-party rent collection systems.
- Properties around key Student areas, a short distance from the campus.
- 50-100 properties in their portfolios.
- Uses third party rent collection systems.
- Competitively Priced.
- 2-3 properties on average.
- Domestic students tend to live in Private Landlord owned properties.
- International students tend to live in higher budget PBSA accommodation.
Bubble Student is at the forefront of the student world through a varied array of marketing channels. Utilising strong digital channels and using influential students on the ground throughout the country, Bubble Student is able to activate marketing plans with effect and precision. Furthermore, with a highly motivated sector of the market, Bubble Student is able to test and activate fun and engaging strategies with a high response rate, which only benefits our long term plan in engaging and activating the student sector.
An emphasis on disruptive online digital content we launched ‘Bubble TV’ which has had over 120k views since the start of the year and are commissioning a series of campaigns.
We have a relationship with Google’s new app development team, and work with their account managers on SEO and Adwords campaigns.
We have a strong ambassador programme that is in full affect, utilising personal networks and working with students for ground activated tasks such as stunts for brand awareness.
Events play such a large part of our business and marketing and we are working on bringing in partners to build campaigns. This is part of a bigger focus on brand partnerships.
We have more traditional marketing channels such as a referral programme that is connected with a users download link, this way we can reward our users who refer fellow students. We will also investigate the benefits of marketing in print; student magazines and university publications.
Moving forward we plan on scaling our digital content and increasing the volume of posting as well as increasing our spend on AdWords and network advertising (Facebook, YouTube and Instagram etc).
The property-tech industry is full of platforms taking on the challenge of disrupting Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation among others. Trying to displace existing giants in pursuit of young professionals or homeowners across the UK. The issue still remains that they don’t differentiate enough and thus find it harder to displace such giants in industry and change the behaviour of the consumer.
Bubble Student is changing an industry untapped by existing players, the domestic student market.
We are forming our own niche without the need to compete with the existing giants of the industry through our technology. Enabling students to complete the full end-to-end process of searching and booking properties, paying rent and bills through the platform, finding other housemates and even helping secure insurance cover for their gadgets.