Blume Ventures-backed study abroad platform LeverageEdu has formally launched Fly Finance, a financial services vertical, to disburse education loans and student remittances, the company said in a statement on October 4.
Fly Finance, which was started earlier this year by LeverageEdu, has now received FFMC (Full Fledged Money Changers) licence from the Reserve Bank of India, the company said.
According to the RBI, an entity that has an FFMC licence can undertake purchase and sale of foreign exchange for specified purposes such as private and business travel abroad. Rachit Juneja, previously with Blume Ventures, will operationally lead the Fly Finance unit, LeverageEdu said.
LeverageEdu claimed that it has hit a transactions processed value (TPV) of Rs 135 crore on forex, while facilitating education loans worth over Rs 280 crore during the Fall intake. The company aims to close FY23 at $150 million TPV annualised, it said.
LeverageEdu looks to double down on foreign remittances, a segment which it claims to be underpenetrated as its peers are vertically aligned on student lending. With an FFMC licence, LeverageEdu will now take on Leap, another startup that provides admission guidance and education loans to students that had raised $75 million in its Series D round earlier this year.
“A solid forex business helps us unlock a lot of what we want to do in the future, as this student graduates, looks for a job, pays rent, and so on,” said Akshay Chaturvedi, founder and CEO (chief executive officer), LeverageEdu.
“Till last quarter, we were primarily doing B2C (business to consumer) forex via third-party license holders, growing at 50-70 percent month on month; now, we have also begun approaching this from the University-end, helping institutions with fee acceptance across borders,” Chaturvedi added.
LeverageEdu is also aiming to launch a debit card focused on students going to the UK, later this year which has been its primary destination market. The company will make money through interchange fees, it said. The startup wants to create more products going forward that will give students advisor consultations or personalised banking features, LeverageEdu said.
“You could think of us as a boutique Global Bank for Immigrants over the next few years, we want to do whatever it takes to get them to a better life,” said Chaturvedi.
Founded in 2017 by Chaturvedi, Aman Arora and Rajiv Ganjoo, LeverageEdu helps students with higher education and career guidance in foreign universities. The startup had raised $22 million in its Series B round at a valuation of $120 million.
The fundraising round saw participation from various investors like Kaizenvest Private Equity, DSP Mutual Fund Group, Artha Ventures, UAE-based NB Ventures, 9Unicorns; plus returning funds like Blume Ventures, DSG Consumer Partners, and Tomorrow Capital, among others.The company claims to have opened access to a pool of over $1.6 billion in financial aid to over 100,000 students on the ‘Study Abroad with Leverage Edu’ mobile app. It also launched a Rs 5 crore scholarship from its own corpus last year and has extended it to Rs 7 crore this year.