There are 2.32 million students studying at UK higher education institutions of which 1.76 million are Undergraduates. A study by Oxford Economics estimates they contribute £95 billion to the country’s economy and support more than 940,000 jobs across the nation.
At the same time, this demographic is becoming harder to reach than ever before as they move away from traditional media sources.
Native is a rapidly growing student platform and community, built around a solution to an age old student problem: helping you to become a native in the city you are living. With 218,000 unique users in the last 9 months, using the platform for an average of over 2m 48 secs, they are obviously on to something.
A lot of graduates look back on their first year as the worst year of their university experience. It makes sense - you’re new to the city, you don’t know the best spots, and you want to make sure you don’t miss out on the night that could change your life.
Currently launched in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, and Sheffield, native is the ultimate social companion. Built by an experienced team of graduates still bitter about how many times they ended up in dead clubs during first year, native’s mission is to eliminate forgettable night outs from the university experience.
Drawing on knowledge from local students that have been there and done it, the free app provides information on every event, venue, bar, club, beer garden, café, greasy spoon, and questionable 4am takeaway outlet in your uni city.
The idea is that with this app, from day one at university, students will feel like a native in their new city - knowing which bars are still open at 3am, knowing where to find a midweek hip-hop night, knowing which of the night-buses is most likely to be vomit-free. No detail is too small if it improves the night out experience.
As most of us will know, organising a night out at uni is basically the group-chat equivalent of herding cats. Frustrating, never-ending, and almost always a thankless task. Familiar with the pain, native’s unique social tools make inviting friends and organising nights out a seamless experience - or at least as seamless an experience as shepherding 20 drunk students can be.
But it’s discovery that’s at the heart of the app, with native’s easy-to-navigate interface making exploring new events and experiences a breeze. Each listing also offers in-app ticket comparison so users can stretch their student-loan as far as humanly possible.
The app’s unique recommendation algorithm, built by their founder while studying maths at University, draws on detailed Spotify analysis, as well as user preferences of venue, genre, and event type in order to single out bespoke events as soon as they’re announced. Plus, social integration means that you’ll never miss an event with the uni crew.
Finally, native users are regularly rewarded with daily competitions, loyalty bonuses and exclusive deals on drinks, tickets and brands they love. Alongside the events guide, native offers exclusive content, asking and answering such important questions as ‘How to blag your way through a uni presentation on 90 minutes sleep’.
The team behind native is impressive, but importantly involves students from the ground up, native not only relies on the knowledge of local experts, but also offers a space for the next generation of designers, musicians, artists and writers to showcase their work, as well as providing dozens of part-time student jobs and work placements across the UK.
They have already won multiple awards, generated close to ½ million in revenue, worked with some amazing brands and built out a platform that has reached over 200,000 unique users in the last 9 months across web, android and IOS. This summer, they have taken the app offline whilst they build out a whole host of new features across Android and IOS, with both apps set to relaunch during early September, in time for Freshers Week.
Nick Musto, the Native CEO, says:
“We are on a mission to make sure students have more fun. We want to make nightlife more accessible for everyone and save our users money in the process. We’re currently on course to be the biggest platform for freshers students by the the end of 2018, which is crazy. we believe 2018/19 is going to be an incredible year for the business”
The explosion in young people wanting to find new experiences and discover amazing things to do is perfect for native; it’s just a shame we weren’t about when I was at Uni to save me from some of my more regrettable nights outs.”