Leverage EdTech Pvt. Ltd, a startup that helps students apply to colleges through its website leverageedu.com, has raised its seed round of investment from a clutch of investors, a company statement said.
The round was led by Kashyap Deorah, a serial entrepreneur and the author of The Golden Tap: The Inside Story of Hyper Funded Indian Startups, and Anand Sankeshwar, managing director at transportation firm VRL Logistics.
Other investors who participated in this round include Flexiloans founder Deepak Jain; Sadashiva NT, former chief financial officer at jobs portal Babajob; Arjun Mehta, former CFO at American Express; Abu Dhabi-based Union National Bank vice president Satish Kaul; and Anindya Ghose, a professor at New York University Stern School of Business.
Bhagwan Choudhary, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his wife Swati Desai, founder of health app 2Meditate, also invested in this round.
The startup said it will use the funds to strengthen its product and technology in artificial intelligence and hire talent to expand operations.
Leverage EdTech was founded last year by Akshay Chaturvedi and Rajiv Ganjoo. Chaturvedi, an Indian School of Business alumnus, was part of the Draper Fellow Program after which he worked with e-commerce firm Snapdeal and Babajob. Ganjoo has worked in senior roles in the education industry. These included stints at CL Educate and Veritas.
The company uses machine learning to help students match with over 2,500 colleges and 100 experts. It helps them build a profile that includes writing research papers, filing patents. It also helps them apply to higher education programmes with the counsel of experts.
“We let machine intelligence and a curated marketplace of experts tell students what’s right for them, rather than opting for inexperienced traditional options, many times family members,” said Chaturvedi. “Our software-as-a-service platform helps the aspiring student work on her applications, get on-demand mentoring, access to education loans and foreign exchange, living, and much more.”
Leverage joins a number of ed-tech startups to raise funding this year seeking to tap into a market that search giant Google and consultancy firm KPMG estimate will grow almost eight times to hit $1.96 billion by 2021.
A startup in the same segment as Leverage is Careers360, which is an online community and career counselling platform that assists students to make decisions through its prediction and recommendation engine. It counts Ranjan Pai, chief executive and managing director at Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG), venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy and Satya Narayanan R, founder of education firm Career Launcher, as its investors.