Bengaluru: South Asia’s largest overseas education company Leap, that runs LeapFinance and LeapScholar has raised $55 million(INR 400 crore) in Series C funding led by Owl Ventures. The round also saw participation from Harvard Management Company, Inc, along with returning investors Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India. The round comes less than 6 months after Leap raised its Series B which was led by Jungle Ventures, bringing the total equity capital raised by the startup to date, over $75 million.
Leap is building the infrastructure to enable students to pursue international higher education. It runs a million-member strong 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. Leap’s product suite caters to the end-to-end needs of the community right from international test preparation, professional admissions counseling, student loans, international student bank accounts, foreign currency remittance, and international career guidance.
Vaibhav Singh co-founder of Leap shared, “We have seen an unprecedented demand from students to move abroad this year as international borders open post-Covid. Our community-led approach coupled with a comprehensive product suite for all international student needs is truly differentiated. Not surprisingly we have seen explosive growth. We expect million-plus students from the region to move abroad in the next 12 months. This raise positions us perfectly to capture a lion’s share of that demand. We are excited to continue to have the backing of marquee global investors who are aligned on our mission to democratize access to global education.”
Amit Patel, Managing Director, Owl Ventures said, “Leap is on the trajectory to become the preeminent study abroad platform for students. The overseas education market is fragmented where there is no single one-stop solution. It can be very confusing for students to know where to begin preparation, what colleges they should target, and how they are going to afford to pay for their education. 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.”
Leap will utilize the new capital infusion for multi-dimensional growth. The company intends to extend its service suite to students across SE Asia and MENA regions and enable them to pursue their global education aspirations across more than 20 destination countries. Further, Leap intends to broaden its product portfolio to offer more innovative solutions to international students. Some of the products in the pipeline include an international student credit card and insurance products. The company is also building a suite of offerings to help international students succeed on campus once they have made the move abroad.
Commenting on the company’s plans, co-founder Arnav Kumar stated ”We are building the rails for global student mobility. Over the past year, we have built the product suite to cover an international students’ lifecycle. We have also put in place a scalable playbook that is replicable across geographies. This shows in our rapid growth across product lines. We will continue to build new product lines and deepen the existing ones to offer delightful experiences to international students across the globe.”
Amit Anand, Founding Partner of Jungle Ventures added, “Trust and Affordability is the key to unleash the full potential of the Study Abroad sector. The team at Leap has done a great job in leveraging the advancements in the ed-tech and fintech sectors, to create a predictable, transparent, and best-in-class experience for students looking to pursue overseas education and related financing. We are excited to increase our commitment significantly with this round and continue to help Arnav and Vaibhav build the largest platform globally serving international students."
“Over the last 18 months since founding, the Leap team has been agile and has materially expanded their offering across multiple needs of students looking to study abroad, including financing, counseling, and test prep. The desire for Indian students to study abroad is stronger than ever and we believe that Leap, with its vertically integrated strategy, can become the leading platform enabling these students,” said Ashish Agrawal, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital India.
In August 2021, the company announced that it plans to hire 500 employees by the end of year, in India and abroad, to fortify its product and technology stack.