What Is UNiDAYS? UNiDAYS is a student affinity network, validation service and incentive program that connects verified students with brands and services all over the world. It is free to join and free to use. After students sign up to UNiDAYS and have their student status verified, they receive access to exclusive discounts from a huge range of brands across fashion, beauty, lifestyle, food & drink, health & fitness and technology. Some offers are available online only while others are available in store or in both formats. Many well known brands have partnered with UNiDAYS including Apple, Spotify, Nike and ASOS. The company has achieved massive global reach connecting brands and services to 192m students in 114 countries across 30 languages including the UK, USA, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, India, Brazil, China, South Africa, Australia and Canada.
In terms of the UNiDAYS business model, it is performance based. The company only gets paid when it helps brands make sales through its platform. In 2017, UNiDAYS helped its corporate partners achieve $2.5bn in sales. You may find it surprising that the company is headquartered in Nottingham and was ranked by the Sunday Times as the top ranked small and medium sized enterprise in the UK with the fastest growing international sales. As of February 2018, it had 10 million student members and their app had been downloaded over 4m times. The company has 4 global offices in Nottingham, London, New York and Sydney. It opened its New York office in 2015 and Sydney office in 2016. The company plans to continue its international expansion and grow its workforce globally.
Why Should You Sign Up To UNiDAYS? How Does UNiDAYS Work? There are a growing number of large brands and services using UNiDAYS to offer students exclusive discounts and special offers. When you sign up to UNiDAYS, it will verify that you are enrolled in a degree granting university or college, and afterwards, you are free to use their service. However, for some subscription services, it may periodically re-validate your student status. Some of the large brands using UNiDAYS include:
Apple Music: Half price student subscription of £4.99 per month
Spotify: Half price student subscription of £4.99 per month on Spotify Premium
NOW TV: 50% off monthly subscriptions
Motorola: 10% off products on Motorola.co.uk
Apple: up to 10% off laptops
Microsoft Store: up to 20% off selected products
O2 UK: up to 20% off
giffgaff: £5 free credit when you order a SIM online
Bella Italia: 50% off food and drink
Zizzi: up to 40% off food and drink
Byron: 20% off food and drink
Pizza Hut: 20% food and drink
Above: UNiDAYS technology offers includes giffgaff! Source: myunidays.com
Who Are The People Behind UNiDAYS? UNiDAYS was co-founded by Josh Rathour (CEO), Jon Hawley (COO) and Andrew Bullock (CTO). The three co-founders, who were all Nottingham graduates, set up the business in Nottingham in 2011 as they recognised a massively underleveraged opportunity to connect brands with students more easily. The company achieved triple digit turnover growth between 2013 and 2016 with £11.6m revenue in 2016. It negotiated a landmark deal in 2016 when it signed a global deal with Apple Music to exclusively offer a 50% student discount on the streaming service.
UNiDAYS is a great non-London, UK tech success story. The idea behind the platform is simple, connecting brands and services to students through the web and their mobile app. However, growing the platform to the point of negotiating an exclusive global deal with Apple Music is a serious feat. It is good to see that the UK tech industry can thrive outside of London and Silicon Fen. Hopefully, in the future, we will see more tech startups popping up in other university cities and towns, as graduates decide to set up their tech business locally and take advantage of lower real estate and salary costs. UNiDAYS’ partner sales should continue to grow larger and larger each successive year as more brands come on to their platform. Its killer feature is that companies can very transparently measure the sales impact of their UNiDAYS student offers which will determine the long term success of this company.
Feedback From The giffgaff Community: Have you heard of UNiDAYS before? Which UNiDAYS benefits interest you the most? Do you think UNiDAYS is the way of the future for online and in-store student discounts?
Thanks for reading! Jeff Elephant
Jeff loves tech, wine, exercise and travel. He posts every Friday morning.