Photograph — AB2020

Real estate, housing and accommodation are no doubt some of the most lucrative and prolific businesses today and entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this fact by creating a variety of start-ups in these spaces. From start-ups like PropertyPro and Private Property which make discovering properties hassle-free to the likes of Fibre making monthly rental payment a reality, and others like Muster who simply help people in search of a roommate connect, there seems to be a never-ending stream of business ideas around housing and accommodation.

In recent times, most of the ideas for start-ups in the property and accommodation space are being targeted at university students. For students, finding the right accommodation off the school campus can be stressful, and getting the right roommate is undoubtedly quite important. This is why start-ups like myPadi, RentALodge, and HostelConnect were established and also why they are doing pretty well in the market.

myPadi

Established by Joel Amawhe in 2016, myPadi is a platform that helps university student’s book hostels and finds roommates online in just a few clicks. The platform curates and displays accommodation listings from different landlords and includes pricing, reviews, and virtual tours for interested parties.

Users simply log in, type in a school, city, or room type, and voila, there’s a stream of accommodation listings one could easily choose from, filtered by price ranges and most popular listings. So far, myPadi has over 60 schools and 4000 rooms listed.

Two months ago, the platform raised seed funding of an undisclosed amount from early-stage venture capital firm, EchoVC, which according to Amawhe, will be used to accelerate the expansion of the platform into more cities and schools. myPadi has been estimated to be worth $20billion a year.

HostelConnect

Like myPadi, HostelConnect is an online agency dedicated to helping students, agents, and landlords find and list hostels for free. The agency was established in 2016 by Jimoh Ibraheem, Omikunle Mariam, and Akinade Akinyinka and was created to cover all Nigerian institutions.

HostelConnect boasts of a highly interactive online platform with a swift customer care service. “We are providing an end-to-end solution for real estate agents…With an ever-evolving platform that makes hostel search a lot easier, far smarter and ever rewarding”, a statement reads on the platform.

Currently, the agency generates revenue from adverts both on its website and social media platforms.

RentALodge

Search, pay, get keys; this is the slogan of RentALodge, a premier hostel accommodation platform. “We exist to assist students in Nigerian tertiary institutions find the most suitable accommodation”, the platform states.

Also launched in 2016, RentALodge displays accommodation listings from different schools and cities. In comparison with similar platforms, the process for getting accommodation on RentALodge is pretty simple but not entirely the same. On this platform, once interested students find the hostel accommodation of their choice, they proceed to make online payments immediately and have their keys delivered to them. The platform gives no room for physical tours

“We do the hard work of investigating every hostel accommodation agent who is interested in featuring properties on our platform to ensure the genuineness and authenticity of what is provided.”

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