Until a decade ago, there were not more than 60,000 students pursuing international education. Today, despite the pandemic-ridden year, data shows that over 71,000 students have left India to study abroad (till February 28, 2021). The biggest challenge they face in a foreign land is how to find accurate information, guidance, financing and career support.
Overseas education startup Leap, the parent of LeapFinance and LeapScholar, which has raised $55 Mn (Rs 400 Cr) in its Series C round led by Owl Ventures, said that it will double down on helping Indian students study abroad and build new product lines to offer “delightful experiences to international students across the globe”.
With headquarters in San Francisco and Bengaluru, Leap helps students in India find the right college abroad, offer zero collateral, total study cost and dollar loans for the students, The startup offers end-to-end services — from counselling, visa to education loans and other financial products, tailored for students opting for international education and career.
Founded in 2019 by Arnav Kumar and Vaibhav Singh, the startup said it will use the new investment to build new products at the intersection of fintech and edtech for global education and expand its product lines for students across the globe.
It is also en route to launch its credit card, which is customised to the requirements of international students.
Apart from this, the startup will be hiring 500 employees by the year-end in India and abroad to fortify its product and technology stack.
Commenting on the company’s plans, Kumar said, “In the last 12 months, we identified and filled key gaps in the international students’ journey, offering accurate information, guidance, financing and career support. Our ‘community and content’ approach has allowed rapid scaling to millions of users across geographies and product lines. We will continue to expand our programme coverage and build new product lines to offer delightful experiences to international students across the globe.”
The startup competes with other education loans providing startups such as Eduvanz, which also raised INR 100 Cr in Series B round last month from JuvoVentures, Sequoia Capital and Unitus Ventures.
After India, Leap claims to have expanded its product suite and geographical reach to Canada, the UK and Australia.
Harvard Management Company, along with existing investors Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India, also participated in the round. The funding comes on the back of its Series B round, wherein it raised $17 Mn from Singapore-based Jungle Ventures, early investors Sequoia Capital India and Owl Ventures in March this year. With its Series C round, the startup’s total equity capital raised to date is over $75 Mn.