Uni2 Business Summary
Uni2’s mission is to revolutionise student living by creating a full portfolio of services and products to the lucrative student market, all using the catchy Uni2 prefix (e.g. Uni2 Rent, Uni2 Travel, Uni2 Talk etc). Uni2’s route to market will be through a student orientated (multi-platform) App, which is currently being developed with official backing from Microsoft.
Uni2 has already been operating for a full academic year in Nottingham only, with great success. Fund are now required to expand in Year 2, initially to Leeds and Birmingham and then nationwide by September 2014.
Uni2 wants to create a brand that in 5 years’ time is synonymous with student living across the UK. Our Uni2 brand will be controlled by our holding company and then licensed to individual companies who will be entitled to use the Uni2 prefix and have access to our data and marketing support. Those companies will be either 100% owned by Uni2, be joint-ventures, or be third parties operating under a revenue share scheme. Exit will be take the form of selling individual subsidiary companies (with perpetual license to use the brand in that sector) or selling the complete package. Either option is likely to appeal to established companies who struggle to penetrate the student market (e.g. rightmove) or companies already strong in one segment of the student market but looking to operate across multiple segments (e.g. Unite).
Uni2 began life as a student magazine in Nottingham entitled Uni2 Know. The creation of Simon Jacob, its edgy format immediately caused a stir on the Nottingham student scene. In the academic year 12/13, three editions of the magazine were published in Notts with each one being read by around 20,000 students. The aim of the magazine was to not to make vast profits (it either broke even with advertising money or made a small profit), but instead to get the Uni2 brand right in front of Nottingham students. The magazine was used as the brand’s Trojan horse, subtly cross selling other Uni2 products such as student accommodation (Uni2 Rent) and student events (Uni2 Party).
Through our unique approach and in-depth knowledge of the student market we have proven that students like and trust our brand. As an example, Uni2 Rent, from a standing start, took the Nottingham student accommodation market by storm against long-standing competitors. Having been instructed on an up-market brand new development in Nottingham, Uni2 dominated the competition, filling 68% of available rooms, our nearest competitor filling just 8% and established players such as FHP filling none.
The Market and Competition
Students in the UK spend £16 billion per year, excluding tuition fees (source BAM). There is not a single company attempting to cover more than one or two market segments. Uni2 has identified a real niche to create a one-stop brand for all student products and services. Uni2 also intends to target foreign students at UK universities, as well as offering a suite of graduate services such as Uni2 Work (grad jobs), Uni2 Drive (car finance) and Uni2 Plan (pensions).
The holding company (Uni2 Hold Tight Ltd) was incorporated in August 2012, as were a number of wholly owned subsidiaries (Uni2 Rent, Uni2 Know, Uni2 Party, Uni2 Save, Uni2 Pose). Bank accounts are held with Santander Corporate and the business operates from leasehold premises on Derby Road, Nottingham. It now awaits an injection of funds to facilitate launch of the Microsoft backed App and nationwide expansion.