SA start-up targets students

Diggit, a new student-centric South African classifieds site is looking to capture one of the largest and most sought-after online demographics.

The site, which officially launched on 1 March 2013 after being in development for over a year, is a new online classifieds market specifically catering for students and student culture.

The site describes itself as an “online student noticeboard”, but Diggit founder and CEO, Brennan Wright has a more colourful approach to placing his site in the online space:

“If Facebook and Gumtree had to go on a date, and Facebook had to take Gumtree home with him…that’s where Diggit would come from.”

Brennan Wright
Brennan Wright

Inspiration for Diggit came from Wright and the team looking at simple demographics – who is using the market the most?

The clear indication, according to Wright, was that students (in the age group of 18 – 30 year old) were some of the biggest consumers in the online space, and Diggit was created to target that demographic and make life simple for them.

In its current format, Diggit provides a platform for students to buy and sell student-related products and services – such as “digs” (student housing and accomodation), textbooks, tutor services and even job listings.

While the site is most certainly looking at students in particular, other users – described by Wright as “private” users – are also free to use it.

The site takes a striking approach to grab visitors, with shocking pink and lime green visual styles, coupled with off-beat humour that reflects the demographic it targets.

The site is in its early days, but Wright says that there are big plans ahead, with a definite interest in heading into the e-commerce space.

While speaking to potential partners and sponsors, Wright says that the site received an “increadibly positive response” from brands and companies who could eventually use the site as a platform to tap into market.

The team is currently into the second round of attracting investment, and is currently in talks with a number of big companies in the South Africa e-commerce space, as well as prominant tech entrepreneurs with experience in the field.

Wright plans to spend the next 12 months building the Diggit community to between 300,000 and 500,000 users in order to make the marketplace work.

This user base would make the site even more attractive to investors, Wright said.

Diggit currently employs around 22 staff, and is based in Cape Town.

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SA start-up targets students