• Cape Town startup DigsConnect.com has received R12 million in venture capital funding.
  • The startup was criticised when it dropped R10,000 in R10 notes at UCT - causing a stampede - in August 2018.
  • The startup said it is planning other unique marketing campaigns such as 50 UCT students running in T-Rex suits in April.

DigsConnect.com - the student housing startup which infamously dropped R10,000 at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2018 - has received a R12 million cash investment.

The investment will allow the platform to expand from the Western Cape to Gauteng and Potchefstroom in the upcoming months, and then Durban, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth, DigsConnect.com co-founder Greg Keal said.

“With an estimated one million plus students in off-campus accommodation in South Africa, this market is massive and is crying to be digitalised,” Keal told Business Insider South Africa.

Keal said the investor did not wish to be identified.

DigsConnect.com cofounders Brendan Ardagh, Greg Ke
DigsConnect.com cofounders Brendan Ardagh, Greg Keal and Alexandria Procter after the R12 million investment was confirmed (supplied)

DigsConnect.com has listed over 50,000 beds over the past year, in 11 locations. The platform had 30,000 visits in January alone.

The platform plans to expand its service in 2019, partnering with universities and technikons, and embracing technologies such as Virtual Reality to verify listings.

“We aim to be the go-to student accommodation marketplace in Africa, and deliver an unparalleled user experience for both landlord and student users,” Keal said.

Despite the negative attention it received for dropping R10,000 in R10 notes at UCT which caused a stampede, Keal said the startup is planning several other unique marketing campaigns  this year.

Read: A Cape Town startup will drop R10,000 in R10 notes from a roof in a crazy publicity stunt

In April, they will ask 50 UCT students to race in 2.2m T-Rex outfits for a grand prize. The nature of the prize has not yet been disclosed.

“We’re also planning a car giveaway, a massive party, a student recipe book and Jägermeister bottle business cards,” Keal said.

“We aren’t afraid to be outrageous and to push boundaries, but I guess [recieving criticism is] part of it.”

For more, go to Business Insider South Africa.

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