Welcome to EasyHouse Africa, the operating system for student housing in Africa. Our mission is to revolutionize the student housing market in Africa, and we are proud to say that we are well on our way to achieving that goal. Let’s take stock of what we’ve been able to do and what the future holds.
The journey to where we are now wasn’t easy. It all started in 2020 when a group of friends and I encountered the challenge of finding accommodation on campus. We knew that this was a problem that needed to be addressed, so we set out to find a solution. We built a simple listing platform where property owners could post their properties and students could connect with them. But, as it turns out, the solution was not that simple. We struggled to find a revenue model, and we couldn’t build trust between the two entities on the system. Our team eventually fell apart, and the project was put on hold.
But we didn’t give up. We understood that those initial failures were learning experiences that gave us a better understanding of the market. In 2022, we put together a new team, a team that was not only passionate about solving the student accommodation crisis but also building solutions for the real estate industry in Africa. Together, we participated in the Innovation for Business Resilience Bootcamp where we received a 1k USD grant from the Inter-University Council of Eastern Africa and where we developed the concept of a platform that provides an end-to-end housing experience for both students and accommodation service providers. This was the birth of EasyHouse Africa, the operating system for student housing in Africa.
We launched our booking request service in April 2022, and the response was overwhelming. Students from all over Kenya, and even from other countries, requested accommodation through our platform. We received over 9,000 booking requests and settled over 3,800 of them by the end of 2022. Close to 30% of the requests we received were from students coming from Uganda, Tanzania, DRC, South Sudan, and Nigeria to study in Kenya, which just showed the magnitude of the problem we were addressing and how timely our solution was.
On the other end, we saw over 43 hostels/rentals signup on our waitlist. Our efforts were recognized by the press, and we were featured in several newspapers such as The Business Daily, KTN News, Bizna Kenya, and the Standard Newspaper.
The success we’ve had so far is just the beginning. We are now building EasyKeja, an end-to-end booking platform for students, and EasyKodi, a tool for hostel/rental managers to automate their operations. We are excited to continue to grow and serve the students in Africa, while also providing an end-to-end housing experience for accommodation service providers.
We understand that the student housing market in Africa can be tough, but we are up for the challenge. Our initial failures were learning experiences that gave us a better understanding of the market and allowed us to identify the gaps that needed to be filled. We invite you to join us in this journey as we strive to make a real impact in the lives of students and accommodation providers across Africa. Together, we can revolutionize the student housing market in Africa and provide accessible, affordable, and quality housing for all.
Benaiah P. Wepundi – Founder & CEO