The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that CIT GAP Funds has made a follow-on investment in Arlington, Va.-based 4stay, an online marketplace for student housing that connects students, interns, and professionals with local hosts, roommates, and room providers. Since the GAP Funds’ original investment in late 2018, 4stay’s management team has doubled down on their efforts to scale the business and expand globally.
4stay’s objective is to match the right guests with quality hosts, enabling users to easily find furnished rooms around campuses based on price, location, and household gender. Not only has 4stay experienced significant traction in the United States to date, but they have also been successful in expanding their customer base to include international universities and talent exchange programs. For example, 4stay is now working with U.K.-based Global University Systems (GUS), which is a network of institutions, affiliates and partners from around the world that includes over 78,000 students.
“Our recent expansion into the international market sets 4stay up to make an even greater impact in the off-campus and internship housing markets,” said Akobir Azamovich, Co-Founder and CEO of 4stay. “To manage our growing global presence, we have also added key technical, sales, and customer support hires. We are thankful for the continued support of CIT GAP Funds, who first helped us accelerate our product development and establish a presence in the market.”
Faridun, 4stay Co-Founder and COO, added, “The 4stay team has turned our firsthand experience with the challenges of finding suitable and affordable housing as students into a solution built to help both students and campuses worldwide. Beyond this additional funding, the CIT GAP Funds team has provided us with tremendous support that has directly impacted our growth, such as putting us in touch with the right contacts or in front of the right information at the right time.”
In the United States, there are 21 million college students, 17 million of which stay off campus and spend more than $122 billion annually due to the lack of on-campus housing options. Having a safe, comfortable place to live near campus is directly correlated to a college student’s ability to excel in school, but for many, securing housing is not an easy process. Dorms are often too crowded or expensive, and apartment managers often want students to commit to a one-year lease for a location that is likely unfurnished. By using 4stay, students and interns can easily find quality housing that fits their needs, saving them time, money, and additional stress.
“When we first started working with 4stay, we saw the potential for them to really make an impact and simplify college housing challenges,” said Tom Weithman, Managing Director of CIT GAP Funds, and President and Chief Investment Officer of MACH37. “We have been very impressed with their growth and traction in both the U.S. and abroad, which we believe is an indication of their ability to capitalize on a global market. We are pleased to work with 4stay as they continue to solve housing frustrations for students in the U.S. and around the world.”