- Investment sought:
- Equity offered:
University Compare offers an unbiased service to students while providing a digital platform for universities to advertise directly to their chosen demographic.
University Compare offers a subscription model for universities to connect with students that are looking study at higher education.
Offering a number of services that reflect the year-long university application process from:
- Annual profiles
- Open day exposure
- Social media exposure
Students today are unsure of the benefits of applying to university and are not aware of the opportunities available for them. Ofsted also announced that 55% of all students struggle to find external support outside of their school.
Regardless of these difficulties that students face throughout their applications and despite the increase in tuition fees that the conservatives introduced in 2012, university applications have risen by 38% over the last 8 years, with over 3.3M university applications being processed in 2015 and this figure is only set to rise even further.
University Compare addresses the need for a digital market place for institutes to target potential students while helping students identify the right university and course for them.
We provide statistics on all 27,000 courses, such as; employment rates, average graduate salaries, student satisfaction and even the cost of a pint at your local bar, we're able to offer a realistic perspective on the university experience. University Compare specialises in gaining reviews from former and current students who share their experiences online, they give a great insight into university life, similar to the reviews on TripAdvisor.
Substantial accomplishments to date
University Compare have already received over 100K SEIS funding over the past 30 months.
University Compare was nominated for:
- Best Newcomer 2014 by the prestigious Education Investor.
- Owen O'Neill was nominated for Essex Entrepreneur 2015.
Even though University Compare are the challenger brand, we believe we still have the strongest social network following amongst all of our current competitors, our social following across a number of channels is growing at an exponential of 50% month-on-month.
University Compare sells marketing space to universities so they can connect with students who are looking to study at Higher Education. We’re able to increase brand awareness, student referrals and student feedback whilst maintaining a very low customer acquisition cost.
With the placement of targeted advertisements alongside our 4500+ opted-in sixth-form careers advisors, we're able to increase student referrals and brand impressions amongst influencers (teachers), giving the ability to affect a student's choice in what they choose to study at higher education.
University Compare showcases 265 UK institutions and we will be looking to expand into Europe (569 clients) in 2016 with the potential to expand further into America and Canada (4,800 clients) in 2019.
University Compare has huge potential to create alternative revenue streams from Mobile App adverts to impression based adverts located on our website (which we currently doesn't utilise).
NB: The data used for this graph is from University Compare's internal analysis and has not been independently verified.
Use of proceeds
University Compare is already trading and the money raised via Seedrs will used to scale the company and target a further 126 Further education colleges that have not been targeted yet.
The use of the funds raised will allow us to double our team in size while creating more sophisticated advertisements to increase the digital awareness of the brand.
With the additional EIS investment, within 4 years we'd expect to build a business in the UK undergraduate and EU market, with possible expansion into America an Canada in late 2019.
Predicted costs over the next two years:
University Compare's brand is split via a B2C service that sells B2B products.
Targeting prospective students in the youth market that range from the ages of 16-24 who are looking to study in Higher Education.
As the business progresses, so will our client database of prospective students and current undergraduates. This will allow us to extend our target market to postgraduate study as we will have curated data from previous years. A postgraduate service will allow us to increase the number of our orders with existing clients that are already subscribed with our service.
Our Target market extends into Europe in 2016/17 increasing our brand awareness amongst European students.
Characteristics of target market
Despite the increase in tuition fees in 2012, university applications have rose by 38% over the last 8 years. In 2015, over 3.3M university applications have been processed from nearly 600,000 applicants and this figure is only set to increase even further.
The UK Higher Education market is worth a staggering £5.1bn with universities spending in excess of £100M a year to acquire students. It is believed this figure will consistently grow by 20% each year. The digital revolution has begun and more universities are now shifting their traditional spend on print media and replacing it with digital marketing. We expect the majority of universities will have a vast digital presence come 2017 and we’ll be right at the forefront of this digital revolution.
The HE industry mildly changes on an annual basis, our excellent relationship with schools creates the opportunity to acquire these students every year. Our ever-growing 4500 subscriber list of careers advisers (influencers) allows us to stay connected with students.
University Compare reaches it's current demographic through organic traffic, direct traffic, referrals and social media.
University Compare's organic traffic has steadily increased over recent years and is now the back-bone of high quality traffic.
University Compare has implemented a scalable social traffic strategy over the past 6 months which has catapulted all areas of external traffic. By connecting with students across Social Media we are able to influence the youth market, increase iPhone App installs along with the value of our sharable content and visits to the site.
We are currently smashing our competitors social media activity significantly. The most established competitor is currently valued at £35m.
Our social media activity allows us to connect to students in ways that our competitors are not able too and this helps clients distinguish our services amongst our competitors.
In terms of accessibility of our service, we are the only course comparison website to have an iPhone App which continuously generates circa 500 organic downloads per month without paid advertising.
Our branding has been carefully developed to engage teenagers and young adults, as well as a brand they can relate to. We are fun but professional and helpful. Our branding is considerably stronger than our competitors.