Study-abroad platform Leap, today, raised $75 million in Series D funding led by existing investor Owl Ventures, at a time when more students move abroad looking to add skills and degrees for better prospects in a bleak job market and an overall weak macro environment.
The funding announcement comes even as Ed tech startups are taking the most heat during a bust cycle in the ecosystem.
In a release on June 22, the overseas education company said other existing investors like Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India, have also invested in this round. The company has also added new investors like Steadview Capital and Paramark Ventures in the round.
Vaibhav Singh, co-founder of Leap, in a virtual interaction with Moneycontrol, said the company plans to use the fresh funds for innovation in existing products and launch new ones.
“There are other offerings which we want to launch, for example, we just started taking some initial steps in helping students post they enroll at a foreign college and look for their first internship, first job, build their resumes and network,” Singh told Moneycontrol.
Founded in 2019 by Singh and Arnav Kumar, Leap, which runs LeapScholar, LeapFinance, and Yocket, is a platform that helps aspiring students wanting to study abroad. Leap offers products including international test prep like IELTS, TOEFL, and SAT.
The startup is based in San Francisco with an office in Bengaluru.
The company also plans on growing partnerships with educational institutions abroad and expanding geographies.
Singh added, “We launched in the UAE a few months ago. We've just launched in Bangladesh, and we want to continue to expand to all of these relatively neighbouring countries.”
In April, the company announced a partnership with Colorado State University, USA bringing the university’s Master in Computer Information System (MCIS) programme to Indian students at a lower cost and plans to bring more such offerings across its global university partners with the funds raised.
The company also helps with visa counselling and financial aid like international student loans.
Singh said, “We are obviously in the education industry, but the way we are set up as a business, we are truly at the intersection of edtech and fintech. We've got education and advisory products but we have also got a whole suite of financial products.”
Leap said today it has an online community of study abroad aspirants with over two million students. The three-year-old startup claims to have enabled services for over 175,000 students in the past 12 months.
According to Singh, 2022 will set a new all-time high in terms of study abroad market trends. However, Singh did not disclose the valuation at which the company raised the current round of funding.
The trend will only strengthen if the job market remains bleak, a possible reason why Leap continues to see appetite amidst a broader slowdown in ed tech.
Amit Patel, Managing Director, Owl Ventures said, “By simplifying an otherwise overwhelming process and helping students navigate all the steps of counselling, test-prep, and financing, Leap is well-positioned to support the increasing demand to go and study abroad as more countries and companies around the world are becoming further integrated into the global economy.”
Earlier in September 2021, the company had raised $55 million in Series C funding led by Owl Ventures. According to Leap, the startup has now raised over $150 million in equity since its inception.