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leap funding: Study-abroad startup Leap raises $75 million from Owl Ventures, others

Leap, an overseas higher-education startup based in San Francisco and Bengaluru, has raised $75 million in a funding round led by Owl Ventures, with participation from new investors Steadview Capital and Paramark Ventures, and existing investors Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India.

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The company plans to use the funds to launch its products in Bangladesh and other Southeast Asian markets. It also plans to invest in innovative solutions within its existing offerings.

Earlier this year, Leap expanded its presence in the Middle East to help students in the region pursue their studies abroad.

The company was founded in 2019 by IIT-Kharagpur alumni Vaibhav Singh and Arnav Kumar.

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“We have a lending business as well, to offer loans to students who want to study abroad. We will also invest in that business and scale it. We will take this product global,” Singh told ET.

Leap runs brands such as LeapScholar, LeapFinance and Yocket, which offer a suite of products to cover an international student’s lifecycle. These include test preparation, admissions and visa counselling, as well as financial offerings such as student loans, international bank accounts, credit cards, and money-remittance services.

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“This end-to-end approach to solving every pain point of an international student has helped Leap serve over 175,000 students in their study-abroad journey in the past 12 months,” Singh said.

Over the next couple of years, more than five million students are expected to cross an international border to pursue their dreams, he added.

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In April, the company announced a partnership with Colorado State University, bringing the university’s MCIS programme to Indian students in a multi-geography hybrid format.

“More such innovative offerings are in the pipeline across Leap’s 750 global university partners,” the startup said in the statement.

In September 2021, Leap
raised $55 million as a part of a Series C funding round led by Owl Ventures. The round also saw participation from Harvard Management Company, apart from existing investors Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India.

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With the current round, the company has raised close to $150 million in equity capital to date.

“We conduct career counselling camps and other physical meet-ups but foraying offline is not a big plan for us… We are currently making 50% of our revenue from our study-abroad platform and the rest from the finance and lending side,” Singh said.

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