Founded in 2019, with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Bangalore, India, Leap will use the funding injection to gain market share in the country, where it says demand has been “explosive” over the past 18 months.
“We have seen an unprecedented demand from students to move abroad this year as international borders open post-Covid,” said Leap co-founder Vaibhav Singh.
“We expect million-plus students from the region to move abroad in the next 12 months”
The company, with a “community-led approach coupled with a comprehensive product suite”, has “seen explosive growth”, he continued.
Leap runs both LeapFinance and LeapScholar, and offers counselling services, visa services, education loans, and other financial products tailored for international students.
“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,” Singh added.
“We are excited to continue to have the backing of marquee global investors who are aligned on our mission to democratise access to global education.”
Owl Ventures, which has also led funding rounds for English learning platform Novakid and tutor-based language learning marketplace Preply, 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,” Owl Ventures managing director, Amit Patel said.
The Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund is the largest in the world focused on the education technology market with over $1.3 billion in assets under management.
“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,” Patel added.
“Leap is creating a comprehensive platform that addresses all of these preparation and financing needs for students.”
The “multi-dimensional growth” Leap anticipates to see from the investment includes extending its service suite to students across SE Asia and MENA regions and increase the destination countries it offers to 20.
Other products in the pipeline include an international student credit card, insurance products and a suite of offerings aiming to help international students “succeed on campus” once they are abroad.
“We are building products at the intersection of fintech & edtech for global education,” co-founder Arnav Kumar explained.
“In the last 12 months, we identified and filled key gaps in the international students’ journey – offering accurate information, guidance, financing and career support.
“Our ‘community & 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.”
The latest funding round also include Harvard Management Company, alongside returning investors Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India. In March 2021, Leap announced its $17m Series B funding lead by Jungle Ventures.
“The desire for Indian students to study abroad is stronger than ever”
“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,” said Amit Anand, founding partner of Jungle Ventures.
“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.”
In the last 18 months, Leap has helped over 60,000 students in their study abroad journeys.
Over that period, the company has been “agile and has materially expanded their offering across multiple needs of students looking to study abroad, including financing, counselling, and test prep”, managing director of returning investor Sequoia Capital India, Ashish Agrawal, stated.
“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,”Agrawal said.
Additional in August 2021, the company announced plans to hire 500 employees in India and abroad by the end of year.