Owl Ventures leads a $ 55 million Series C round at Leap Finance

Leap Finance, a fintech platform for Indian college students studying overseas, has raised $ 55 million in its C Series, led by Owl Ventures. This marks the second fundraiser for the Bengaluru-based startup in 2021 that has been scooped $ 17 million Series B in March.

Harvard Management Company, Inc. and the existing investors Jungle Ventures and Sequoia Capital India also participated in the new round. This brings the startup’s total equity to over $ 75 million.

Leap will use the fresh proceeds to grow and expand its offerings to students in Southeast Asia and the MENA regions, enabling them to pursue educational goals in more than 20 countries, the company said in a press release.

Last month, the company also announced that it plans to hire 500 people in India and overseas by the end of the year to strengthen its product and technology stack.

Leap Finance’s business model and competition

The 18-month-old startup was founded by Vaibhav Singh and Arnav Kumar and is a full-stack platform for students who want to complete an education at foreign universities. The offer includes advice, visas, loans and other financial products. It currently offers access to institutes in the US, Canada, UK and Australia. It claims to offer safety-free education loans through Leap Finance Inc. at an interest rate between 8.25% and 10.25%.

The company charges a 2% processing fee on loans when the fund is paid out. According to its own statements, the startup has helped over 60,000 students with their stay abroad since it was founded.

Leap also offers an international bank account where students can get a working US bank account and debit card, while in India they are toll-free and have the lowest foreign exchange rates. The company plans to introduce a credit card for international students.

Leap Finance competes with MPower Financing and Credenc to finance training abroad. Mpower Financing, led by Manu Smadja, has become the biggest player in this area. It had recently been raised $ 152.5 million in a mixture of equity and debt from Tilden Park Capital Management and King Street Capital Management.