UK-headquartered fintech StudentFinance has raised €4.5 million in a seed round co-led by Giant Ventures and Armilar Venture Partners. Existing investors Mustard Seed Maze, Seedcamp, and Sabadell Venture Capital also participated. Additionally, the round saw participation from a number of notable Angel Investors including Victoria van Lennep (founder of Lendable), Martin Villig (founder of Bolt), Ed Vaizey (former Culture & Digital Economy Minister UK), Firestartr (UK-based early-stage VC syndicate), and Serge Chiaramonte (UK fintech investor). With the funding, StudentFinance indicates that they intend to triple the team size across the board and launch in the UK and additional European markets in the coming months.
Founded in 2019 by Mariano Kostelec and Miguel Santo Amaro, StudentFinance is applying a novel approach to solving two problems in one go. The platform addresses the growing skills gap and seeks to democratise education simultaneously, namely by providing the necessary technology for education providers to offer flexible payment plans in the form of Income Share Agreements (ISAs) and job market data intelligence in order to accurately forecast demand.
ISAs are just what they say, Income Share Agreements used to finance education or re-skilling. A student is only liable to begin repayments for education once they are gainfully employed and earning above a minimum threshold. The payments are then structured as a percentage of their earnings. As an added bonus, there are no interest fees accrued with an ISA.
“We are on a mission to democratise education and our ISAs are the ultimate solution for fair and affordable access to the skills people need to find employment in this ever-changing digital world,” comments co-founder and CFO Palmeiro. “Our seed round of funding will help us to achieve our ambitious goals of partnering with 150 schools and securing €30m in ISAs by launching in the UK and two other countries. In five years we want to reach €500m worth of ISAs as we continue to develop our predictive model for skills demand.”
StudentFinance has active partnerships with more than 35 education providers across Europe, manages over €5 million in ISAs, and counts a staff of 16 people operating on a remote-first basis in Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria, and the UK.