Bluebear Technology, which operates a student education financing platform, Propelld, has raised $250,000 from Indian Angel Network and its eponymous venture capital fund. The current seed round was led by IAN Members Ambarish Raghuvanshi, former CFO of Naukri.com; Alok Sharma, former chief executive of tech giant Apple India; and Satish Jajodia, former CFO of marketing and information services firm Education Dynamics, the company said in a statement.
Propelld was founded by IIT-Madras alumni Bibhu Prasad Das, Brijesh Samantaray and Victor Senapaty, Propelld in 2016. The startup helps students who are unable to access financing from traditional financial Institutions due to low/non-existent credit or work history. It uses proprietary employability outcome algorithm to include earning potential when determining the ability of a borrower to repay. This includes information such as schools, academic performance, educational stream as well as work experience.
“Measuring employability of students based on their academic history and skills is our core strength. We are looking at leveraging the data to introduce new financing products in the markets such as CV based lending (without the need of co-guarantors) and also expand our scope of services to career path discovery, lead generation for Institutes, creating skill community etc.,” said Victor, co-founder at Propelld.
Propelld currently works with institutes covering both technology and non-technology certification and skilling courses across Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Propelld partnered Institutes have an annual intake of approximately 30,000 students. The Startup has 12 employees, with founders from IIT Madras, MBAs, Banking professionals with experience across Risk, Debt Raise, Product, Technology and Data Science.
“The education space has traditionally been overlooked by financial players. Its challenges are unique. At the same time, this translates into a massive opportunity, especially with year-on-year increased spending in the space,” said IAN member Ambarish Raghuvanshi.
Recent Development in this space
There are a couple of players who are operating in this space. Most recently, Mumbai-based startup Eduvanz, which offers skill development loan to students, has raised $500,000 investment led by Blinc Advisors. The startup has also received the NBFC Licence by the RBI.
In October 2017, student micro-financing startup, SlicePay has raised $2 million in a Series A round funding Simile Venture Partners and Das Capital with participation from existing investor Blume Ventures.
Marketplace GyanDhan, which offers education loans for students who want to study abroad, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs with participation from Harvard Angels, and other individual investors including Pravin Gandhi.