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名校研究生贷款平台Prodigy Finance再获2.4亿美元融资

近日,美国乐天堂娱乐科技创企Prodigy Finance获得新一轮大额融资。本轮融资由Index Ventures领投,Balderton Capital和AlphaCode跟投,投资总量4000万美元,同时还有2亿美元债务融资。

Prodigy Finance主营在线贷款业务,目标客户群体是在剑桥、哈佛等全球顶尖院校进行研究生课程学习的国际学生。比如在欧洲工商管理学院提供的MBA课程中,就有大约25%的学生享受到了Prodigy Finance的贷款服务。截止2016年,Prodigy Finance已经累计为7000多名学生提供了总值3.25亿美元的贷款。

谈及平台建立的初衷,Prodigy Finance创始人兼首席执行官Cameron Stevens表示,对许多来自新兴经济体国家(比如中国、巴西和印度)的国际学生来说,即便他们拥有高学历和不错的信用记录,在寻求教育贷款时仍然会面临重重挑战。而据经济合作与发展组织统计,到2025年,全球国际学生的总量将达到800万人,国际学生贷款市场潜力可谓不小。

Prodigy Finance通过先进的技术做支持,确保贷款都能得到及时偿还。一般情况下,贷款人会被匹配给来自其原籍国家的校友学生,在帮助他们建立校友关系的同时获得经济收益。该公司表示,本轮融资将主要用于扩大学生贷款产品规模和人员技术。Prodigy Finance于2年前正式进入美国市场,目前已经占据了这一市场的半壁江山,本次融资的市场拓展核心也将集中在美国。此外,快速发展的亚洲市场也将成为该平台未来的目标地区,比如全球国际学生中有8%就来自中国。

Prodigy Finance, a fintech startup that provides online funding for students embarking on postgraduate courses at top institutions such as Cambridge and Harvard, has landed multi-millions of pounds in fresh funding from leading investors.

Index Ventures has led a series C equity round of $40m, with previous investor Balderton Capital also participating and AlphaCode also joining them, in addition to $200m in debt financing.

Shortlisted for explosive growth company of the year at the City A.M. awards in 2016, the 10-year-old startup has provided $325m to more than 7,000 students in that time.

It provides finance to international students who are often overlooked for loans by traditional banks, using technology to ensure a repayment rate of 99 per cent. Alumni from top schools are matched with students from their home country or alma mater and earn a financial return but the new debt financing cash will now go towards loan capital too.

“Students from emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India face challenges in accessing financing for education, even with high credentials and excellent credit quality," said founder and chief executive Cameron Stevens, adding that the cash will provide it with additional scale to fulfil huge demand.

"This investment will help us double the size of our student portfolio. We believe in financial inclusion and talent mobility, and look forward to continuing to help international students break the funding barrier and further their education at a top international university."

The startup will focus on expanding in the US, with the country now accounting for 50 per cent of the market, picking up pace since entering the market just two years ago. Asia will also be a focus, with China now accounting for eight per cent of the international student market. That expansion will include growing its 115 staff across technology, engineering and business development.

Around 25 per cent of students at the Insead Business School, one of the best MBA programmes in the world, are funded through loans from Prodigy Finance.

"Every decade, the number of international students doubles and our hope is that Prodigy Finance will help accelerate that growth. Our planet sorely needs more educated citizens of the world," said Index Ventures partner Neil Rimmer.

The number of international students is set to reach eight million by 2025, figures from the OECD suggest.


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