Cialfo, a leading player in the international student mobility space, announced that it has extended its Series A funding round to US$15 million to fuel its vision of connecting the global higher-education ecosystem.
As the education landscape evolves, students around the world struggle with fragmented information and lack of counselling around higher learning opportunities, while education providers find it costly and inefficient to recruit the traditional way. Launched in 2017 with a mission to make education accessible to 100 million students, Cialfo bridges a gap in this ecosystem by connecting the various stakeholders on a single platform.
The extended Series A round was co-led by SIG and Vulcan Capital, and included support from new investors January Capital, Bisk Ventures as well as returning investors DLF Venture, Alto Partners Multi-Family Office and Immobillari. Angel investors Patrick Walujo and Teik Ngan Loy, among others, also contributed to the fundraise. Cialfo will use the latest fundraise to drive data science and AI-based product innovation, as well as expand its reach in India, China and Southeast Asia.
On the student and K-12 side, Cialfo provides a range of web and mobile solutions, including AI-powered college search, application management tools, a strong communications suite, and the ability to apply directly to thousands of formal and informal higher learning opportunities across the globe.
On the other end, higher education institutions leverage Cialfo’s solutions to attract and recruit students through virtual college fairs, direct engagement opportunities and data analytics that give them a better understanding of the student landscape. Cialfo also plans to work with leading universities to help them provide open online courses and other blended learning solutions as the world adapts to a new normal.
“Cialfo was already on a very strong growth trajectory, but the Covid-19 crisis has really reinforced the importance of our mission. A standstill on global travel has upended education entirely – forcing high schools and universities to engage current and potential students virtually. The adoption of technology-driven education solutions is rising at an unprecedented rate and we have a key role to play in accelerating the student recruitment process from physical to virtual channels,” said Rohan Pasari, CEO & Co-Founder of Cialfo.
In 2020, Cialfo started working with higher education institutions for the very first time and has secured 650 new partners in a span of nine months, including the likes of Cambridge, Oxford, Brown, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago. The company also currently works with more than 1,200 K-12 schools across 90 countries and plans to use the additional funds to target a larger number of K-12 schools in priority markets.
Since 2018, Cialfo’s revenue has been growing over 200% year-on-year as the company served over a million students during this time, making it one of the most rapidly growing startups of its kind in the region. The team headcount has also doubled in the last year and is projected to further grow as Cialfo continues to hire top talent across engineering, product, data, marketing and growth roles.
“Within a very short span of time, Cialfo has made big waves in the global edtech industry. We’ve found Cialfo to be one of the most mission-driven players in this space, helmed by an incredibly talented team of founders and executives. Cialfo has big ambitions to consolidate the fragmented higher-ed ecosystem and we look forward to working closely with them as they continue to chart new heights,” said Tommy Teo, Managing Director & Head of Southeast Asia from Vulcan Capital.
Cialfo is also accelerating discussions around acquiring similar firms that operate in the K-12 space, with the aim of establishing an even stronger position and greater market share in the region.
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