Herndon, Va.-based Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced that its CIT GAP Funds is investing in 4stay, an online marketplace for student housing. The investment amount was not disclosed.
The Arlington, Va.-based company said it plans to use the investment to enhance its sales and marketing efforts and speed up product development, a press release states. Currently, 4stay partners with 100 schools who are using its SaaS-based platform to manage on and off campus housing needs.
Faridun Nazarov, 4stay cofounder and COO, said this investment goes far beyond money, though. He explained that the company had to apply and share a lot of initial information before being invited to pitch to CIT in hopes of landing the funding. The entire process took a few months since it was so rigorous. Since being selected, 4stay has been communicating with CIT regularly about growth and hiring plans.
“A lot of investors invest in companies, and that’s it. But not CIT – they really are supporting our business growth,” Nazarov told Technical.ly. “This investment, and working with CIT directly, has opened a lot of doors for 4stay. Anyone who knows CIT knows they have a detailed due diligence process; they cover everything very closely. This makes other investors we might want to work with more comfortable, and gives us credibility. Their rolodex of contacts across the country is a huge asset for us.”
Marco Rubin, senior investment director for CIT GAP Funds, said in a statement that CIT is excited to be part of 4stay’s journey and is confident that the company’s solutions will solve student housing frustrations on campuses all across the country.
Nazarov said that the company became dedicated to building a solution for student housing problems across the country after he and cofounder Akobir Azamovich experienced the struggle themselves. The pair moved to the U.S. roughly 10 years ago to further their education, but were challenged by finding housing. Since 2008, the cofounders said they have helped more than 10,000 students in 15 different states representing more than 30 countries connect with housing needs.
“As someone who has worked in student housing for almost 10 years and lived the pain of many housing challenges, we have seen firsthand the difficulties and frustrations of looking for housing on college campuses. 4stay is solving these challenges by providing an online marketplace to book furnished rooms around campuses. We also provide $100K insurance, host pay guarantee, and zero deposit to protect students, parents, and hosts,” Azamovich said in a statement.
The company said it plans to add 500 more partner schools in the next 12 to 18 months, while raising a $3 million funding round to expand its team, add 500,000 more listings and move into Canada and Europe. Crunchbase reported that 4stay has raised $1.4 million across two funding rounds.
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