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Leap raises $75 million in Series D funding

Overseas education company Leap has raised $75 million in Series D funding to bring its total equity backing to over $150m since its founding in 2019.

Founded in 2019, Leap owns LeapScholar, LeapFinance, and Yocket. It offers counselling services, visa services, education loans, and other financial products and solutions for international students. Photo: Leap Scholar

Leap's online community is made up of over two million students, the company claims

The latest funding – led by Owl Ventures – saw the participation of Steadview Capital and Paramark Ventures as new investors, joining existing backers Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India.

Leap said that the new investment will allow the one-stop shop to further widen access to quality global education and scale in “multiple dimensions”. 

The study-abroad start up is now valued at almost $1 billion. In September 2021, Leap raised $55m in Series C funding, on top of a $17m Series B round in March.

Leap’s “one-stop approach” – running LeapScholar, LeapFinance, and Yocket – combined with an “overall strong rebound in international student outflows post-covid” has led to exponential growth, Vaibhav Singh, co-founder of Leap, stated.

“Over the next couple of years, more than five million students are expected to cross an international border to fulfil their global dreams,” he said.

“With the backing of marquee global investors, we continue to march forward on our mission to democratise access to quality global education and make these dreams a reality.”

Leap is not the only company seeking to take control of the market. ApplyBoard raised $300m in June 2021, Leverage Edu was valued at around $120m in March this year, and AI platform Cialfo raised $40m in Series B in January. CollegeDekho brought in $35m in its Series B round in 2021.

“By simplifying an otherwise overwhelming process and helping students navigate all the steps of counselling, test-prep, and financing, Leap is well-positioned to support the increasing demand to go and study abroad as more countries and companies around the world are becoming further integrated into the global economy,” Amit Patel, managing director of Owl Ventures added.

In the past 12 months, Leap has helped over 175,000 students worldwide, and its online community is made up of over two million students, the company claims. Leap expanded into the Middle East earlier this year to help study abroad aspirants.

“We are now able to scale rapidly across multiple dimensions”

“Having built the underlying infrastructure for global student mobility, we are now able to scale rapidly across multiple dimensions,” Arnav Kumar, co-founder of Leap noted.

Leap announced a partnership with US institution Colorado State University to bring its MCIS program to Indian students in a “unique multi-geography hybrid format, at a much lower cost” in April. It also plans to offer similar “innovative offerings” for its 750+ global university partners.

“We have launched many industry-first products and experiences to make the student journey seamless,” Kumar explained. “Ensuring student success has been our mission and we will continue to deepen our existing offerings and launch newer ones in the months ahead.”

Founder and CIO, Steadview Capital Ravi Mehta said the investment management company believes Leap “is well-positioned to take this platform globally and help students from all over the world to achieve their dreams”.

“Jungle Ventures is proud to triple-down on Leap with our third investment in two years since leading their Series B, as they have rapidly grown and become the leading all-in-one platform for emerging Asian students looking to study overseas,” Yash Sankrityayan, managing partner at Jungle Ventures added.

“We believe overseas education is a large global market and a long-term trend and are committed to supporting the Leap founders and team to become the largest global study abroad platform.”

Other companies that Owl Ventures has backed include but is not limited to: BYJU’S; Labster; Noodles Online; Quizlet; and Preply.

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