Leap, a FinTech startup that enables students to study overseas through financial and career assistance, has raised $55 million in a Series C round of funding led by Owl Ventures.
The round also saw participation from Harvard Management Company, along with returning investors Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India.
According to a press statement, the company will utilize the fresh proceeds for growth and expand its offerings to students across Southeast Asia and MENA regions and enable them to pursue education aspirations across more than 20 countries.
Founded in 2019 by Arnav Kumar and Vaibhav Singh, with headquarters in San Francisco and Bengaluru, Leap helps students in India find the right college abroad, offers zero collateral, total study cost, and dollar loans for students. The startup offers end-to-end services from counseling, visa to education loans, and other financial products tailored for students opting for international education and career.
Leap offers an international bank account where students get a working US bank account and debit card while in India with zero charges and the lowest forex rates. The company also aims to add new services, including insurance and credit card products for international students, and to hire 500 more employees by the end of this year.
Speaking about the company, Arnav Kumar, Co-founder of Leap, said,
"We are building products at the intersection of FinTech and EdTech for global education. In the last 12 months, we have identified and filled key gaps in the international students’ journey, offering accurate information, guidance, financing and career support. Our 'community and 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."
According to Vaibhav Singh, Co-founder of Leap, the company has seen an unprecedented demand from students to move abroad this year as international borders open post-Covid. He said that its community-led approach coupled with a comprehensive product suite for all international student needs sets the company apart.
Leap claims to have a million-member 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. The company offers collateral-free education loans at an interest rate between 8.25% to 10.25%.
Amit Patel, Managing Director, Owl Ventures, commented on the funding saying,
"Leap is on the trajectory to become the pre-eminent study abroad platform for students. The overseas education market is fragmented where there is no single one-stop solution. 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."
After India, Leap has expanded its product suite and geographical reach to Canada, the UK, and Australia.
In March this year, Leap had raised $17 million in a Series B round led by Jungle Ventures. Sequoia Capital India and Owl Ventures also participated in the fundraise. The Series C funding brings the startup’s total capital raised to over $75 million.