A startup whose objective is to facilitate the professional mobility of people who want to improve their skills or change jobs just raised 41 million dollars (38 million euros) in debt and capital financing.
StudentFinance enables its users to access training courses so they can change the direction of their careers towards emerging and high-demand sectors such as artificial intelligence, data management and climate technology.
The Madrid startup works with educational providers that it evaluates based on their teaching and admissions system and the employment results offered by their courses. Next, create an affordable payment plan for students who choose a course through these institutions.
The objective is to eliminate the financial stress of changing sectors, explains Mariano Kostelec, co-founder and CEO. “The model is largely based on the results“, he adds. This means that students only pay tuition when they pass a certain income threshold at the end of the course.
The choice of courses offered to students is also decided at the macroeconomic level, explains Kostelec to Business Insider. “We do a lot of modeling on what the labor market needs.”
“We started by focusing on the technology and digital sectors, and most of our courses are on development, data analysis and cybersecurity,” explains Kostelec. “We are now seeing more courses in machine learning and VR.”
The startup also sees growing appeal in partnering with corporations to enable employees to upgrade in sectors where there are talent shortages.
In addition to charging a fee to those who teach the courses it lists on its platform, StudentFinance also makes money through an interest margin that it collects once students are employed.
After having managed more than 15 million dollars in private financingthe company claims that, on average, its students get a 50% salary increase after completing their training courses.
In an environment in which access to financing is increasingly difficult, the startup raised a series A (the first with a marketable product) of 41 million dollars (38 million euros) between debt and capital, which increases its total of funds raised to 47.5 million dollars (44.5 million euros).
As regards capital, the round has been backed by the Portuguese venture capital firm Iberis Capital, which had previously backed Unbabel, an artificial intelligence translation company. On debt, Paris-based asset manager Smart Lenders Asset Management led the round, which had additional backing from Monzo founder Tom Blomfield, Mustard Seed Maze, Giant Ventures and Seedcamp.
With the new funds, StudentFinance ensures that it has free runway to expand into new geographic markets. After obtaining the approval of the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Conduct Authority), the UK regulator, will expand its presence in the British country while arriving in Germany.