Amber secures $21 mn in funding led by Gaja Capital
ECONOMY & POLICY

Amber secures $21 mn in funding led by Gaja Capital

Amber, the student accommodation platform, has successfully secured $21 million in its inaugural round of institutional funding, spearheaded by Mumbai-based private equity firm Gaja Capital. The funding round comprises $18.5 million in fresh equity, with the remaining amount sourced from venture debt provided by Lighthouse Canton and Stride Ventures.

These funds are earmarked for global expansion initiatives and to bolster Amber's services for property managers and students alike. The company intends to intensify its operations by onboarding more suppliers and property managers, with a particular focus on expanding demand from both international and domestic students. Additionally, Amber plans to invest in product development innovation.

Saurabh Goel, co-founder and CEO, outlined the company's growth strategy, stating, "We are looking at scaling aggressively in the markets that we are currently already into. The UK, Australia, and Ireland are the markets that we started with, and we are the largest operator and platform in these markets, but at the same time, a lot of fund allocation would go into expanding into new markets like the US, Canada, and Europe as well."

Founded in 2017 by Goel and Madhur Gujar, the Pune-based company primarily caters to Indian students studying in the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and Canada, targeting a student accommodation market valued at $60 billion. Amber serves as a long-term accommodation platform, facilitating property discovery through user ratings, reviews, and pricing. While it facilitates transactions between property managers and customers, it does not engage operationally in property maintenance. The platform also offers assistance with loan services, flight booking discounts, and guarantor services, having established partnerships with study-abroad consultancies and loan providers.

Goel emphasised the challenges in the housing rental process, stating, "When it comes to ordering food, you have Zomato and Swiggy. When it comes to shopping online, you have Flipkart and Amazon, but when it comes to renting a house, the experience is still very broken? So that's where we saw a huge gap that there is no better customer experience when it comes to renting a house."

Amber currently operates in seven countries and over 250 cities, with plans to expand into an additional 100-200 cities over the next two years while also increasing coverage in existing cities. Goel highlighted the company's global approach, stating, "We are essentially building from India for the world. Being present in India, we can build this in a very capital-efficient way, but at the same time have the lucrative revenue potential of a market which is based in the US or the UK."

Gopal Jain, managing partner at Gaja Capital, commended Amber's ability to address critical pain points for both students and property managers, attributing the success of the investment to the global rise in student enrollments and the long-term trend of studying abroad.

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Amber, the student accommodation platform, has successfully secured $21 million in its inaugural round of institutional funding, spearheaded by Mumbai-based private equity firm Gaja Capital. The funding round comprises $18.5 million in fresh equity, with the remaining amount sourced from venture debt provided by Lighthouse Canton and Stride Ventures. These funds are earmarked for global expansion initiatives and to bolster Amber's services for property managers and students alike. The company intends to intensify its operations by onboarding more suppliers and property managers, with a particular focus on expanding demand from both international and domestic students. Additionally, Amber plans to invest in product development innovation. Saurabh Goel, co-founder and CEO, outlined the company's growth strategy, stating, We are looking at scaling aggressively in the markets that we are currently already into. The UK, Australia, and Ireland are the markets that we started with, and we are the largest operator and platform in these markets, but at the same time, a lot of fund allocation would go into expanding into new markets like the US, Canada, and Europe as well. Founded in 2017 by Goel and Madhur Gujar, the Pune-based company primarily caters to Indian students studying in the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and Canada, targeting a student accommodation market valued at $60 billion. Amber serves as a long-term accommodation platform, facilitating property discovery through user ratings, reviews, and pricing. While it facilitates transactions between property managers and customers, it does not engage operationally in property maintenance. The platform also offers assistance with loan services, flight booking discounts, and guarantor services, having established partnerships with study-abroad consultancies and loan providers. Goel emphasised the challenges in the housing rental process, stating, When it comes to ordering food, you have Zomato and Swiggy. When it comes to shopping online, you have Flipkart and Amazon, but when it comes to renting a house, the experience is still very broken? So that's where we saw a huge gap that there is no better customer experience when it comes to renting a house. Amber currently operates in seven countries and over 250 cities, with plans to expand into an additional 100-200 cities over the next two years while also increasing coverage in existing cities. Goel highlighted the company's global approach, stating, We are essentially building from India for the world. Being present in India, we can build this in a very capital-efficient way, but at the same time have the lucrative revenue potential of a market which is based in the US or the UK. Gopal Jain, managing partner at Gaja Capital, commended Amber's ability to address critical pain points for both students and property managers, attributing the success of the investment to the global rise in student enrollments and the long-term trend of studying abroad.

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