Stride Funding, a Boston-based FinTech platform, has raised $12 million in Series A funding to help students supplement their education loans with Income Share Agreements.
The round was led by Firework Ventures with participation from Juvo Ventures, Graham Holdings, GSV Ventures, Slow Ventures, and Sinai Ventures along with several industry leaders, academic leaders, and serial entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2018 by Tess Michaels, Stride offers students alternatives to fixed repayment installment loans via income-linked loans, Income Share Agreements (ISAs), and Deferred Tuition Agreements (DTAs), which provide flexibility and affordability to students, as payments are only required when they are earning a living wage.
Stride is a mission-driven funding provider that supports students and seeks to improve economic outcomes across alternative and higher education. The company believes in the power of education to fuel economic mobility, and also recognizes the limitation of society's current approach to funding education.
Speaking about the company and the capital raised, Tess Michaels, Founder of Stride Funding, said,
"Stride is powered by the fundamental belief that equitable education financing should be based on students’ potential and opportunity, not their past. We help young adults underserved by the traditional credit markets gain access to educational programs that improve their economic and career outcomes. Closing our Series A is a significant milestone, but we are just getting started on our quest to make the $130 billion private student loan market more equitable, flexible, and above all a runway for economic mobility."
Stride works by connecting with students through a host of school and university partnerships as well as via its direct-to-student funding platform. The platform collects and analyzes educational and earnings data across a diverse set of programs to broaden access to financial products.
Brigette Lau, Founding Partner at Firework Ventures, said,
"We are pleased to back an extraordinary entrepreneur generating impact by realigning EdTech and FinTech. We view Study Now, Pay Later products as the future of educational funding, as they provide much-needed downside protection to students while aligning the incentives of schools and investors with student outcomes. Stride is purposefully shaping this space and we’re thrilled to join them in this journey!"
Since closing its seed round in 2019, Stride increased the capital committed to students to over $50 million, with capital providers such as Silicon Valley Bank seeking to finance hundreds of millions of additional funds.
Earlier in October, Stride Funding raised $30 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank. Prior to that, the startup had raised an undisclosed amount in additional funding led by New U Venture Partners, anchored by Western Governors University, while the ISA investment capital was committed by multi-billion dollar impact investors.