Leverage Ed-tech Private Limited, which operates platforms LeverageEdu.com, UniValley.com, Ivy100.com, & virtual fair platform UniConnect, announced the close of its INR 47 Crores (~$6.5Mn) Series A financing. The round was led by Tomorrow Capital who invested 26.5 Cr into the Akshay Chaturvedi-founded & operated business. Existing investors Blume Ventures & DSG Consumer Partners, who continue to remain bullish two years after first investing, added 20.5 Cr in this round, half of which had been infused couple of quarters ago, with the remaining half invested alongside Tomorrow Capital. With this, the company has now raised about INR 60 Crores across 3 rounds.
Over the last four years, Leverage Edu has embarked on the journey of helping students discover the right program, destination and think through college education with an employability lens. Understanding that millions of students struggle with complex applications, VISA, grade conversions, and most importantly making a right choice for themselves, presented a huge opportunity, hence LeverageEdu was founded in early 2017 with Akshay as its first counsellor. The platform helps students match to the right higher education option, with one-touch access to 2500+ personalised mentors and leading global universities.
Outbound student mobility has increased manifolds in the past decade, with certain geographies emerging as clear winners amidst the pandemic, with their government thinking in favor of the global student and launching massive reforms. This has helped the Leverage Edu growth story, the company having served over 3000 students this season.
Leverage Edu has two main parts of its business. First, the company counsels students to select the right program, country based on their mentoring workshops, helping them apply to universities and colleges across the world via its student platform OneView, and then subsequently providing them value-added services like education loan, VISA, forex, accommodation options – making it a one-stop shop for the student.
The second part of Leverage Edu’s business is on the university side, a SaaS-enabled platform called Univalley.com, which helps Universities find best-matched talent for their diverse programs. Plus, it also enables over 500 small-&-medium Study Abroad companies across 35 cities in India, to make the applying-to-college journey easier by giving them access to Leverage Edu’s proprietary tech and access to its 250+ partner universities from world over.
Talking about the investment Rohini Prakash, CEO, Tomorrow Capital, said, “India is one of the largest global suppliers of international students and yet the biggest brands helping students in their admissions come from destination countries like the USA, Canada and Australia, who don’t understand the unique perspectives and problems that the Indian student faces. We believe it is inevitable that the next stellar brand in the global cross-border education space will be a home-grown one. We have a great belief in Akshay as a founder – he has a fantastic roadmap for scaling the business and the passion to build a truly global Indian Edtech brand – and are excited about working with the Leverage Edu team on this journey.”
With focus on solving for students of different parts of the country, from Delhi & Mumbai to Kainth, Ernakulum, Surat, Gurdaspur & Vijaywada, Leverage Edu Founder & CEO, Akshay Chaturvedi says, “In the fast emerging democratised-opportunities world, one’s destiny is not married to where they were born or where they started, but how big can they dream, and where in the world is their talent going to find most respect. It could be culinary arts in Western Europe, or sports management in Sydney, fashion and luxury in Paris, nutrition in Canada – or anything, wherever there is a perfect fit for what a student growing up is best at!”
Akshay added that, “The latest round of funding will be used to accelerate the company’s strategic expansion into newer markets, bring in more product innovation, and deepen our student-first approach with more focus on pedagogy and student-first tools”.
Alongside institutional financing, the company also saw investments come in from an angel consortium led by Karan Khemka which includes Partners of the education consulting firm LEK. Leverage Edu also counts prominent angels like Vishal Gondal of Goqii, Ash Lilani of Saama Capital, Amrish Rau of Pine Labs, Chaitanya Rathi of Sula Wines, among others on its cap table.
“Our immediate goal from here is very clear. We want to focus on a few things and do them really really well. There is also this myth around foreign education being expensive that we’ve now been busting for last four years. 18 months from now, we want to be among the top study abroad companies in India, both by number of students and a roof-hitting NPS – because a happy student is why we are all really motivated everyday to do this!”, said Chaturvedi.
In a country and market where the higher education industry has seen massive fragmentation, Leverage Edu boldly challenges narratives and notions of the old and brings to light its vision of breaking down access to opportunities, and to pursuing dreams to become what you are good at, wherever that be on the map!