Kitchener, Ontario-based international student recruitment platform ApplyBoard has raised $75 million in a new funding round at a $1.4 billion valuation, making it become the latest Canadian tech company to reach unicorn status.
The Series C round was led by Ohio-based venture firm Drive Capital, with participation from Fidelity Investments Canada ULC and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), as well as existing investors including Anthos Capital, Artiman Ventures, Garage Capital, and Plug and Play Tech Centre.
Founded in 2015 by brothers Martin, Meti, and Massi Basiri, ApplyBoard empowers people around the world to study abroad and access the best education available. It simplifies the study abroad search, application, and acceptance process by connecting international students, recruitment partners, and academic institutions on an artificial intelligence-enabled platform.
Currently, ApplyBoard works with more than 1,200 educational institutions and 4,000+ recruitment partners around the world to drive diversity on campus across Canada, United States, and the United Kingdom. The five-year-old startup claims to have directly assisted more than 100,000 students to date.
Speaking about the company and its mission, Martin Basiri, Co-founder and CEO of ApplyBoard, reportedly told a Canadian portal,
“The whole company started because of personal experience. We are really happy that we can support more and more people to be able to get a good education. Our campaign is to build a better future for people and I’m so happy that in our life we can have a positive reinforcement on that.”
ApplyBoard enables students to discover programs and apply at institutions that best meet their background, skills, and interests. Students can apply to over 30,000 programs. Using machine learning, ApplyBoard matches them with programs and schools at which they are eligible to study. ApplyBoard’s team of experts provides students with support every step of the way including reviewing their applications, submitting documents, communicating with the institutions, assisting with the visa process, and starting their journey abroad.
The startup plans to use the new capital to further invest in its technology and partner with educational institutions in new destination countries. It also plans to strengthen its position in the UK, where it recently launched its operations. ApplyBoard also plans to expand its team by bringing in at least 100 more employees. It currently has 400 employees working in 20 countries, up 2.5 times from its headcount this time last year.
Lauding the company as democratizing global access to world-class higher education, Nick Solaro, Partner at Drive Capital, told Crunchbase News,
“ApplyBoard is the only place where international students can discover and apply to college online, and in turn, is the only digital customer acquisition channel for colleges and universities. By building this digital channel, ApplyBoard is in the flow of funds for the $100 billion a year spent on tuition by international students in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia.”
Meanwhile, the latest financing of ApplyBoard comes just less than a year after the company raised a $40 million Series B, and brings its total funding to date to $122.5 million.