A Bristol-based student rental company, HYBR is disrupting the market with its online platform – and the team is celebrating having just raised £700,000 in its first funding round.

HYBR – whose name is a play on ‘hibernate’ was founded by 24-year-old University of Bristol graduate Hannah Chappatte with the mission to “fix the toxic student rental market.”

The company provides a one stop-shop for responsible students looking for accommodation and reputable landlords looking for renters.

Now in seven UK cities, HYBR has generated total sales (GMV) of more than £3.5million from landlords and has 3,000 students on its books. It plans to scale into all of the UK’s 30 key university cities next year, before moving into foreign markets.

Raising funds for the next phase

The impressive trajectory of HYBR’s growth has caught the attention of a number of angel investors, including Evelyn Bourke, former CEO of BUPA, and Debbie Wosskow OBE, founder of home-exchange service Love Home Swap and founder and current CEO of women’s business group the All Bright Network.

The £700,000 will go toward marketing HYBR, along with salaries for a new senior team. 

Investor Debbie Wosskow says, “Getting to meet and invest in brilliant young women is by far my favourite part of the work I do.

“Hannah launched HYBR to give students the support they need to be responsible, great tenants, and I’m excited to announce I’ve invested. I cannot wait to work with her after such an impressive pitch.”

Solving student rental issues

HYBR’s mission is about making one aspect of the student experience slightly easier, the response is in high demand.

Hannah Chappatte, CEO & Founder

“The message from students is clear: change is needed,” said Hannah, a Bristol English graduate.

“Having a positive living experience keeps students in uni, stops them leaving their rentals early and improves the mental health of all involved – it’s a winner for students, landlords and universities.

“Across the UK the relationship between students and landlords has broken down – we are changing that.”

Alongside matching students with rental houses, at the fraction of the cost of traditional agencies, HYBR also holds free housemate matcher events, helps with contracts, guarantors and legal support and offers advice on anything from cleaning rotas upwards.

“Landlords can de-risk their portfolio with us,” Hannah says. “Uncertain economic times mean more students, whereas professionals are more likely to be leaving their jobs. Suddenly having reliable students is a very attractive option for landlords.

“Now we are also working with single-family lets and other types of property that wouldn’t usually be available to students.”