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HomebusinessBenaiah Wepundi: Law Student Behind Platform Linking University Students To Affordable Housing

Benaiah Wepundi: Law Student Behind Platform Linking University Students To Affordable Housing

Benaiah Wepundi is a law student and software engineer working on a solution to address the student housing problem.

He is the brains behind Easy House, offering both campus students and young professionals with a platform to search, book and pay for accommodation.

The company also provides rental owners with a platform to automate their rental management workflows.

Wepundi explained that he came with the idea having faced a housing problem while joining university.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

In an interview with The Standard, Wepundi mentioned that he purposely developed the platform to be a savior for new students joining university.

The platform, Easy House, he says, seeks to address the accessibility, availability and affordability of student housing.

“Through our platform, students can search, book and pay for accommodation,” Wepundi said.

While he engages property owners to make sure that the platform works, it has proved success in the short period it has been in the market.

 As as May 2023, the company was live in 8 different residential areas in Nairobi and it’s environs.

They have served over 25,000 students and young professionals, with 57 properties using the management system.

 “We have 43 accommodation options spanned across 12 universities. Our platform is designed in such a way that we ensure students get what they book,” he added.

He established the start-up with his savings funds sourced from co-founders, friends and family,

“In 2022, we won a $1,000 grant in a competition organized by the Inter-University Council of East Africa and the German Cooperation,” he said.

Wepundi mentioned that they charge a 3 percent for every booking.

“We settled on three per cent after looking at what other platforms are doing and we realised that most of their fees were exorbitant

“We also considered the fact that we are dealing with students without an income,”Wepundi told The Standard.

Wepundi further mentioned that he faces among other challenges, funding and balancing between school and work.

“Funding has also been a key challenge that we face. We are just young people trying to solve a problem, convincing an investor that you are actually up to the task to build a million-dollar company is not as easy,” he said.

He attributed the success of the platform to passion and their commitment to helping students beat the high cost of housing.

“The cost of living, including housing, is going up considerably. We are looking for ways to provide students with more facilities at less cost

“We are also looking to introduce a cost-sharing model which will reduce the cost per student,” Wepundi added.

While 30 per cent of requests are from foreign students coming to study in Kenya, he said he also looking to expand outside the country.

“I believe that solving the problem of student accommodation requires a multi-sectoral approach roping in the private sector, industry players and government,” Benaiah Wepundi signed off.