Owl Ventures and Harvard Management Company back India’s study abroad platform Leap in $55 million round – TechCrunch

Leap, a two-year-old startup with headquarters in San Francisco and Bangalore that’s serving to college students in India discover the appropriate school overseas, put together for entrance exams, and in addition safe visas and mortgage, mentioned on Wednesday it has raised $55 million in a brand new financing spherical from a number of high-profile edtech backers.

Leap mentioned it has raised $55 million in a brand new financing spherical led by Owl Ventures. The Sequence C spherical additionally noticed participation from Harvard Administration Firm, extra popularly recognized for being a high-profile LP to enterprise funds. Present traders Sequoia Capital India and Jungle Ventures additionally participated within the spherical, which follows a Sequence B funding in March this 12 months and brings Leap all-time elevate to over $75 million.

Arnav Kumar, co-founder of Leap, informed TechCrunch that the startup sits on the intersection of edtech and fintech. It’s serving to college students in India discover the appropriate school for admission overseas and in addition making certain that they’ve the visa and capital to check and dwell there.

It’s an enormous market that the startup is tapping.

Tons of of hundreds of youngsters and younger adults get on flights every year from India to a international land to pursue larger schooling. “The need for Indian college students to check overseas is stronger than ever,” mentioned Ashish Agrawal, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital India.

However they face a variety of challenges, together with some that current themselves after they’ve landed within the international land.

Since they don’t have an area credit score historical past, they’ll’t avail a variety of economic companies, together with a mortgage or a bank card — a minimum of not with out paying a premium for it. For banks and different monetary establishments, there may be an elevated threat once they have interaction with foreigners, so that they cost extra. An Indian scholar finding out within the U.S., as an illustration, borrows cash at an rate of interest of over 13%, almost twice of what their native friends are charged.

Leap is addressing the monetary half by granting loans to college students at a good rate of interest by evaluating the information they generated — various and derived — in India itself.

However finance is just one of its choices. The startup has aggressively expanded its choices to supply what it calls a broader infrastructure to allow college students to pursue worldwide larger schooling.

Leap has developed a group of over 1 million college students the place they advise one another and discover choices. Leap mentioned it has helped over 60,000 college students of their research overseas journey during the last 18 months — and simply had its strongest fall season.

Vaibhav Singh (left) and Arnav Kumar based Leap in 2019 (Leap Finance)

Since we final spoke about Leap, the startup has demonstrated robust development on numerous fronts, mentioned Kumar. Its group has grown (including 100,000 college students every month), the check preparation app is more and more changing into common, and its core monetary companies has additionally surged, he mentioned.

On prime of this, the startup has expanded its choices to assist college students put together for — and touchdown — internships once they do be part of a university overseas, fixing one other problem confronted by international college students.

Now with the brand new funding, Leap is planning to develop to serve worldwide markets together with Center East and Southeast Asia and assist the scholars pursue larger schooling in 20 nations, mentioned Kumar, who beforehand labored as an affiliate vice chairman at enterprise fund Elevation Capital.

“Leap is on the trajectory to turn out to be the preeminent research overseas platform for college kids. The abroad schooling market is fragmented the place there is no such thing as a single one-stop resolution,” mentioned Amit Patel, Managing Director of Owl Ventures, in a press release.

“It may be very complicated for college kids to know the place to start preparation, what faculties they need to goal, and the way they’re going to afford to pay for his or her schooling. Leap is making a complete platform that addresses all of those preparation and financing wants for college kids. Owl Ventures is happy to deepen our partnership with Vaibhav, Arnav, and the Leap workforce to make finding out overseas a actuality for as many college students as potential.”

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