Knoma, a London, UK-based startup that helps lifelong learners finance their tech courses by spreading the cost via loans, has launched after raising more than £21 million in debt and equity funding from Global Founders Capital, Rocket Internet, Fasanara Capital and Seedrs, along with angel investors such as LendInvest chairman Christian Faes.
The startup says it offers users access to up to £10,000 (at zero fees, and zero interest) in mere minutes, paid directly to the schools offering the courses, and those loans can then be repaid by the student over 12 months. In a way, it’s a ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ scheme, but for education.
“The future of work in the digital economy means continuous learning from 16-65 years old, or as the American’s say K to grey. We are looking to democratise funding of tech and coding courses by removing barriers for upfront payment or having to take out high interest loans. We don’t believe in charging our users and have instead opted to build a business model that charges a merchant fee to our partners and is free to the end-user (the student),” said founder and CEO Brett Shanley.
Those partners can recruit and on-board new students by placing a ‘Pay with Knoma’ button on their check-out. The company is launching its solution today with a number of tech and coding schools, including Code Institute, Wild Code School, CodeClan, NorthCoders, Learning People and more.
Knoma says it will initially focus on the UK market, and plans to expand globally in the coming years.