“Our platform goes through the firewall of China”
The company will grow its team in New York with 15 new recruits, as it appeals to a range of US institutions, according to CEO and co-founder Diego Fanara.
“Since launching Unibuddy, we’ve always tried to prove that any institution of any kind, size, private, public and community college, could adopt our platform,” he told The PIE News.
“When we approach new markets we don’t target specific types of institutions,” he said. “We want to remove every barrier for any background to get the right information.”
US growth is rapid, with prominent institutions such as the University of Southern California and Cornell Tech, launching the platform, he added.
“Without even being live in the US for a year, [top US institutions] are interested in our products.”
The Series A funding round was led by Fred Destin of Stride VC, and other investors include Bart Swanson (seed investor and board member of Zoom), Daniel Borel (founder and chairman of Logitech) and Shakil Khan (early investor and advisor of Spotify).
Earlier in 2019, Unibuddy launched a partnership with the UK’s UCAS to see a group of institutions integrate the peer-to-peer technology on the UCAS platform. The company said it wants to work on similar “more impactful” products.
It currently works with one-third of UK universities, and more than 150 institutions worldwide.
UK and India represent the first and second most nationalities on the platform, respectively, while China is third.
“There is much demand from Chinese students,” Ranara added.
“Our platform goes through the firewall of China, we can embed it on the university websites that work with Chinese students. It is a real plus for universities targeting this area.”