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ApplyBoard links up with ETS, a new investor as part of series C

Online student marketplace ApplyBoard has announced an interesting tie-up with ETS, parent company of the TOEFL exam, as part of yet another round of financing that it has announced.

ApplyBoard co-founders Meti, Martin and Massi Basiri. Photo: ApplyBoard

ETS and ApplyBoard will work together to provide students with an end-to-end application experience

It has raised a further C$70 million in Series C funding, adding the $100m funding closed in March 2020 which brought the company’s valuation to $2 billion and officially made it a unicorn.

The latest funding extension funding – raised with participation from Education Testing Services, Index Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Harmonic Growth Partners and others – brings its total Series C funding to $170m and means a new strategic partnership between ApplyBoard and TOEFL administrator ETS.

“Our goal is to make the ApplyBoard platform the only tool that our recruitment partners need”

ETS and ApplyBoard will work together to provide prospective international students with an end-to-end application experience, a press statement indicated: from preparing and taking the TOEFL or GRE graduates admissions test to searching for, applying to, and commencing studies at one of ApplyBoard’s more than 1,200 partner schools across Canada, the US, and the UK.

According to a statement, ETS’s equity investment in ApplyBoard was executed by ETS Strategic Capital, a new unit of ETS created to advance its mission through strategic equity investments, growth partnerships, and acquisitions.

“The equity investment in ApplyBoard reflects ETS’s strategy to embrace new technologies and strategic partnerships that help broaden the global reach in education—both in terms of student countries of origin as well as their destinations for studying,” said Ralph Taylor-Smith, managing director of ETS Strategic Capital.

“In partnering together with ApplyBoard, we look forward to leveraging ETS’s expertise in assessments to help them further scale their business, bolster their offering, and best serve international students and academic institutions in higher education.”

ApplyBoard said it plans to use the latest funds to “fuel its rapid growth by investing heavily in its proprietary technology, further developing its school and student services, expanding its destination markets, and serving a broader diversity of students and recruitment partners globally”.

A spokesperson for ApplyBoard told The PIE News that the company is actively working on the existing platform to make improvements to its current functionality.

“With this funding, we’ll be able to accelerate these improvements and move on to developing new features and functionality to make it even more robust,” the spokesperson added.

“Our goal is to make the ApplyBoard platform the only tool that our recruitment partners need to support their business and students while providing our partner schools with the best platform to showcase their offerings to international students.”

Originally an international student himself, Martin Basiri, co-founder and CEO of ApplyBoard, commented, “At ApplyBoard, we believe that education is a right, not a privilege.”

“ApplyBoard and ETS will leverage this exciting new partnership to transform the entire application experience for prospective international students, breaking down barriers and empowering even more students to gain access to the very best educational opportunities available to them.”

“ApplyBoard is providing students with access to schools around the globe at the click of a button”

“ApplyBoard is providing students with access to schools around the globe at the click of a button,” added Dino Becirovic, Principal at Index Ventures.

“Between schools, programs, eligibility requirements, and other criteria, there are over 10 billion combinations that are considered for a single admissions decision today.

“ApplyBoard offers a unique platform that abstracts away this complexity and provides students with a seamless application and enrollment experience. We are excited to partner with the company to help students access the best possible educational opportunities.”

Launched by co-founders Martin, Meti, and Massi Basiri in 2015, ApplyBoard aims to provide every student with access to educational opportunities by simplifying the application process.

Read our PIE Chat interview with Meti Basiri here

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