The Spanish fintech StudentFinance, has raised an investment round of 1,150,000 euros, to consolidate the educational financing system based on the “Income Shared Agreement”. The company will use this capital to build a technological data infrastructure that provides a platform to its partner schools to offer this new financing model. According to the company “It will allow them to support more than 500 students who can afford studies in digital technologies by 2020”.
The company expects to reduce, thanks to this type of financing, the digital talent gap that exists in the Spanish professional market. In fact, according to the company, there are more than 700,000 uncovered job vacancies of this type of positions in Europe. That is why they consider it is essential to promote education in technological skills, such as software engineers, data analysts or cybersecurity experts.
According to the co-founder & CEO of StudentFinance, Mariano Kostelec, “we are proud and incredibly excited to have secured such a high calibre of investors, who believe in our mission of making education affordable and accessible, while moving to an outcomes-based model, protecting the downside of the students. It’s an honour to be working with them to scale Income Share Agreements across Europe”. At the same time, Orson Stadler from Mustard Seed Maze has explained that the “access to education is one of the main drivers of social inequality. Whilst the number of coding bootcamp providers is fast-evolving and opening up new career opportunities for some, it is urgent to find innovative solutions to reduce the inequality of access for the many”.
StudentFinance, was founded in 2019 by Mariano Kostelec, Marta Palmeiro, Sergio Pereia and Miguel Santo Amaro. The team that founded the largest student accommodation platform in Europe, Uniplaces, which managed to raise 30 millions of euro in financing from investors such as Atomico, Octopus and others.
LEEDING INVESTORS AND COMPANY’S MODEL
The round has been led by Seedcamp (investors in Revolut and TransferWise – two of the largest fintechs from Europe) and Mustard Seed Maze. The round also saw participation from some of Europe’s most successful entrepreneurs, José Neves (founder & CEO of Farfetch), Rolf Schrömgens (founder & CEO of Trivago), Nuno Sebastião (founder & CEO of Feedzai), Juan Urdiales, Felipe Navio (co-founders & coCEOs of Jobandtalent), and serial entrepreneurs Carlos Oliveira and Will Neale.
StudentFinance, which started in September this year in our country, replicates the ISA (Income Share Agreements) financing model, very popular in the United States, whereby the startup assumes the cost of the technological studies chosen by each student and once they get a job and they earn above the minimum wage, they begin to pay a fixed percentage of their income for a predetermined period of time.
In this way, the company is not only a fintech startup but also it gets involved with the Edtech sector as it collaborates with schools or bootcamps, intensive courses in which students learn different digital skills in order to supply the demands of the professional markets. Also, StudentFinance collaborates with universities that want to offer their students this form of payment.
According to partner at Seedcamp, Sia Houchangnia, pointed out that “at Seedcamp, we’ve been closely following the emergence of ISAs as a mechanism to facilitate access to education, while aligning all parties’ interests. With StudentFinance, we believe we’ve now found the right team to build the European category leader in this space. Mariano, Marta, Sergio and Miguel bring a lot of entrepreneurial experience as well as highly complementary skill sets and we are extremely excited to back them on their mission to enable millions of Europeans to fulfill their full potential.”