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Alumnus’ startup receives €5 million international investment!

International exchange student housing platform Housing Anywhere raised €5 million in its latest funding round. The Rotterdam-based company, which was founded by alumnus Niels van Deuren from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), will use this funding to expand to more university cities in Western Europe and the USA.



Funding from Italy and the Netherlands

The funding comes from Real Web, the owner of Italy’s largest online housing platform Immobiliare.it, and from Dutch venture capitalist henQ which raised €1 million for Housing Anywhere. “With this new funding we can continue our platform’s rapid growth,” says CEO Niels van Deuren, who completed RSM’s BSc International Business Administration and MSc in International Management/CEMS.

“It’s very valuable to us that a major international company like Real Web has joined us. They possess a wealth of experience in the online housing market and we can learn a lot from them. The fact that henQ is also providing new funding means there is a lot of confidence in our platform.”

Student housing platform

Housing Anywhere was founded in 2009 by Niels van Deuren when he was a student at RSM looking for a temporary student room for his international exchange in Singapore. “Many landlords and subletters expect rent in advance to make sure you actually show up,” remembers Van Deuren, “but for students it’s a pretty big step to transfer money without having seen the place first.”

Via Housing Anywhere, students can let and sublet rooms when they go on an international exchange or internship, and homeowners and commercial housing companies can also offer student apartments on the platform. Its accommodations catalogue features more than 100,000 properties in 50 countries, and around 1000 rooms and apartments are added each week. All transactions take place securely through HousingAnywhere.com and the first month’s rent is only transferred after the student has viewed and approved their new home.

International growth

The new funding enables the platform to expand to more countries and cities in major foreign exchange markets such as the USA and Western Europe, where the EU’s popular Erasmus student exchange program alone mobilizes about 270,000 foreign exchange students each year. Van Deuren says Housing Anywhere is set to reach 60 countries next year, expanding to 100 in 2018.

Entrepreneurship at RSM

Many RSM alumni are successful in starting their own companies. In addition to Housing Anywhere, successful startups by entrepreneurs who studied at RSM include Symbid, Enviu, Dwillo and Kukua. Entrepreneurship and innovation is taught in RSM’s programmes, and RSM works closely with the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 research-based business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China. www.rsm.nl

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at mschouten@rsm.nl.

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