Global Study Abroad platform Leverage Edu, announced today that it has raised $22 million in its Series B round of financing. The round saw participation from a consortium of funds, family offices, and individual angels. These included Kaizenvest Private Equity, DSP Mutual Fund Group, Artha Ventures, UAE-based NB Ventures, 9Unicorns; plus returning funds Blume Ventures, DSG Consumer Partners, Tomorrow Capital. Chona Group (behind Havmor), FMCG player Vicco, Mankind Pharma, & other family offices joined the round. Trifecta Ventures & Bennett Coleman (Times Group) also invested.
Prominent individual investors like Morgan Stanley MD Hemant Gupta, CRED founder Kunal Shah, BookMyShow founder Ashish Hemrajani, True North Partner Haresh Chawla, Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal, ShareChat founder Farid Ahsan, Hotcourses (sold to IDP) founder Mark O'Donoghue, Skyflow’s Anshu Sharma, Eragon Ventures MD Pranabh Mody, Dynamic IT Director Henry Kane, Jio President Vikas Choudhary, entrepreneur-author Ankur Warikoo, OYO SEA CEO Ankit Tandon, among others participated with individual cheques, alongside syndicates from AngelList, LetsVenture & Trica Capital.
The financing round values the company at $120 million.
Started in April 2017 by Akshay Chaturvedi, LeverageEdu’s core business helps Universities in the developed world, bring onboard students from the emerging world with a suite of products built for the ecosystem. For students, LeverageEdu has built an outcome-focused technology-led counselling platform, that gives them access to a one-stop dashboard for their entire study abroad journey. It also launched the “Study Abroad with LeverageEdu'' app last month, which has over 50,000 downloads already.
Commenting on the fundraise, Leverage Edu’s Founder & CEO Akshay Chaturvedi said: “We have grown over 12x in revenue between February ‘21 & ‘22, and are at a $20 million annualised revenue crossed milestone now. The team has done this while cutting CAC by crazy 2/3rds - thanks to over 20 percent of our business now coming from referrals, another 35 percent from a bunch of slick product-channels like virtual fair platform UniConnect, IELTS-prep product Leverage Live, the uber-popular AI Course Finder, and a growing double digit from our organic traffic which is now the largest in the world for the category at 30Mn last year and an expected 100Mn+ this year.”
Leverage had announced an office in the UK in September last year, and last week also announced an Australia office - both of which are B2B set-ups that build products for and serve Universities. It today sends students from India and Nigeria, as its core markets, and plans to launch other markets post-this fundraise.
Leverage Edu also announced its foray into financial services early this year. It is now awaiting an FFMC license from RBI, which will further bolster its foreign remittance business. While the company doesn’t give out loans on its own balance sheet, it has been growing fast as it aims to hit a Rs 500 crpre loan book by this fall, it said.
Speaking on its investment, Kaizen Private Equity’s Gaurav Jain said, “LeverageEdu checks the boxes of our education framework of Access (opportunities for students to study abroad), Quality (complete student services and university matching) and Relevance (multi country and cultural awareness)”.
Aditi Kothari, Vice Chairperson of DSP Mutual Fund, said: “I invest in entrepreneurs: their integrity, positive and abundant energy and ability to have an open mind and adapt.”
Anirudh Damani, Managing Partner at Artha Ventures, said: “The end-to-end financing piece of LeverageEdu, which I believe is still in pilot, is a game changer.”