StudentFinance.com, a Madrid-based fintech company offering income-share agreements (ISAs), has raised $5.3 million in a seed round co-led by Giant Ventures and Armilar Venture Partners, The Fintech Times has reported.

Existing investors Mustard Seed Maze and Seedcamp, along with Sabadell Venture Capital, also participated, as well as angel investors including Victoria van Lennep (founder of Lendable), Martin Villig (founder of Bolt), UK Conservative politician Ed Vaizey, and Serge Chiaramonte.

Founded in 2019, StudentFinance stated it has partnered with more than 35 education providers in several European countries, managing over €5 million worth of ISAs.

Mariano Kostelec, co-founder and chief executive of StudentFinance, said: “We are incredibly excited to have secured such high-calibre investors and to have received the continued support of our existing investors, who all believe in our mission of removing barriers to education and empowering economic mobility. With StudentFinance, it takes an average of just four months for reskilled students to find more lucrative employment compared to the UK market average, where the majority of graduates only find employment up to 15 months on from completing their studies. The pandemic has only reinforced the need for solutions that enable people to access quality education to secure employment opportunities and we are making it a reality.”

Marta Palmeiro, StudentFinance’s co-founder and chief financial officer added: “Our seed round of funding will help us to achieve our ambitious goals of partnering with 150 schools and securing €30 million in ISAs by launching in the UK and two other countries. In five years we want to reach €500 million worth of ISAs as we continue to develop our predictive model for skills demand.”

Giant Ventures’ managing partner Cameron Mclain commented: “The form and funding of education needs to evolve for the modern world. Education should not leave students burdened with debt. What StudentFinance has built empowers any educational institution to offer ISAs as an alternative to upfront tuition or student loans, broadening access to education and opportunity.”

Duarte Mineiro, partner at Armilar Venture Partners, said: “StudentFinance is a great opportunity to invest in because aside from its very compelling core purpose, this is a sound business where its economics are backed by a solid proprietary software technology. StudentFinance will make a real impact on the life of students across the globe and help to broaden access to more formal technical training, bringing more innovation to the market and contributing to economic development.”

To read a feature article on ISAs, click here.

Date published: 26 May 2021

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