Headquartered in San Francisco and Bengaluru, overseas education company Leap, which runs LeapFinance and LeapScholar, on Wednesday announced to have raised $55 million in Series C funding led by Owl Ventures.
The round also saw participation from Harvard Management Company, Inc. along with returning investors Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India.
The round comes less than six months after Leap raised its Series B which was led by Jungle Ventures, bringing the total equity capital raised by the startup to date to over $75 million.
“We have seen an unprecedented demand from students to move abroad this year as international borders open post-Covid. Our community-led approach coupled with a comprehensive product suite for all international student needs is truly differentiated. Not surprisingly we have seen explosive growth. We expect million-plus students from the region to move abroad in the next 12 months. This raise positions us perfectly to capture a lion’s share of that demand. We are excited to continue to have the backing of marquee global investors who are aligned on our mission to democratize access to global education,” said Vaibhav Singh co-founder, Leap.
Leap will utilize the new capital infusion for multi-dimensional growth. The company intends to extend its service suite to students across SE Asia and MENA regions and enable them to pursue their global education aspirations across more than 20 destination countries.
“Leap is on the trajectory to become the preeminent study abroad platform for students. The overseas education market is fragmented where there is no single one-stop solution. It can be very confusing for students to know where to begin preparation, what colleges they should target, and how they are going to afford to pay for their education. Leap is creating a comprehensive platform that addresses all of these preparation and financing needs for students. Owl Ventures is excited to deepen our partnership with Vaibhav, Arnav, and the Leap team to make studying abroad a reality for as many students as possible,” commented Amit Patel, managing director, Owl Ventures.
Leap is building the infrastructure to enable students to pursue international higher education. It runs a million-member strong community of international study aspirants in South Asia and has helped over 60,000 students in their study abroad journey over the last 18 months. Leap’s product suite caters to the end-to-end needs of the community right from international test preparation, professional admissions counseling, student loans, international student bank accounts, foreign currency remittance, and international career guidance.
“We are building products at the intersection of fintech and edtech for global education. 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 & content’ approach has allowed rapid scaling to millions of users across geographies and product lines. We will continue to expand our program coverage and build new product lines to offer delightful experiences to international students across the globe,” stated Arnav Kumar, co-founder, Leap.
Further, Leap intends to broaden its product portfolio to offer more innovative solutions to international students. Some of the products in the pipeline include an international student credit card and insurance products. The company is also building a suite of offerings to help international students succeed on campus once they have made the move abroad.
“Trust and Affordability is the key to unleash the full potential of the Study Abroad sector. The team at Leap has done a great job in leveraging the advancements in the ed-tech and fintech sectors, to create a predictable, transparent, and best-in-class experience for students looking to pursue overseas education and related financing. We are excited to increase our commitment significantly with this round and continue to help Arnav and Vaibhav build the largest platform globally serving international students,” mentioned Amit Anand, founding partner, Jungle Ventures.
“Over the last 18 months since founding, the Leap team has been agile and has materially expanded their offering across multiple needs of students looking to study abroad, including financing, counseling, and test prep. The desire for Indian students to study abroad is stronger than ever and we believe that Leap, with its vertically integrated strategy, can become the leading platform enabling these students,” added Ashish Agrawal, managing director, Sequoia Capital India.
In August 2021, the company announced that it plans to hire 500 employees by the end of the year, in India and abroad, to fortify its product and technology stack.