12 Feb Accommodation Innovation: A Peek Inside DigsConnect
We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to sit down with Innovation City member Alexandria Procter, the CEO of DigsConnect.com, the pioneering digital marketplace for student accommodation in South Africa. Alongside her co-founder and COO Greg Ramsay-Keal, Procter has spearheaded the growth of DigsConnect into the first and largest platform of its kind in the country.
Their success story is nothing short of remarkable, having secured a notable R12 million seed round just 13 months after launching, solidifying Procter’s status as one of South Africa’s youngest self-made female millionaires.
Q: Who are you guys as a company and on the whole, and why are you sorely needed in this world?!
A: We’re a couple of ex student leaders from the University of Cape Town that saw a massive problem on our campus and in our community in regard to student housing. This was during the Shackville crisis, so the whole country was abuzz with the issue. So we decided to fix the problem ourselves, and I built V1 of DigsConnect over one weekend in 2018!
Since then, I’ve realised that there is a global housing crisis for students and for young adults in every city I’ve been to across the world. We’re on a mission to fix this.
Q: Any recent developments you’d like to share?
A: Literally just today we’ve had our highest number of bookings ever in a single day on DigsConnect (and it’s only 2pm!) So that’s super thrilling! I’m also currently proud of the fact that while we are growing, we’ve also cut our marketing cost by a third by massively improving our conversion rates. It’s such an exciting time.
Q: Where did the business concept originate and how has the journey been so far?
As a member of the Student Representative Council at UCT, I witnessed the urgent need for better student accommodation amid widespread protests. Frustrated by the slow response from authorities, I took action and launched the initial version of DigsConnect.
Meeting my co-founder Greg was pivotal—he saw the potential in our platform and convinced me to turn it into a business. Our journey began with a shared mission to address the housing challenges facing students in South Africa.
It has had some incredible highs and some crushing lows – often multiple times on the same day. It’s a hell of a ride, that’s for sure, but as long as you’re doing in style then you’ll enjoy every step of the way!
Q: Anything interesting happening in the future you’d like to share?
A: Yes, there’s something exciting on the horizon! I’m thrilled to announce the upcoming launch of my book “Upstart,” which will be happening at Innovation City Cape Town on the 29th of March between 6pm – 7:30pm.
If you’d like to join us and find out more about this young remarkable founder, click on this registration link here!