The company will use the latest fundraise to drive data science and AI-based product innovation, as well as expand its reach in India, China, and Southeast Asia
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Singapore-based startup in the international student mobility space Cialfo, on Wednesday, announced that it has extended its Series A funding round to $15 million to fuel its vision of connecting the global higher-education ecosystem.
The extended Series A round was co-led by SIG and Vulcan Capital and included support from new investors January Capital, Bisk Ventures as well as returning investors DLF Venture, Alto Partners Multi-Family Office, and Immobillari. Angel investors Patrick Walujo and Teik Ngan Loy, among others, also contributed to the fundraise.
The company will use the latest fundraise to drive data science and artificial intelligence (AI)-based product innovation, as well as expand its reach in India, China, and Southeast Asia.
As the education landscape evolves, students around the world struggle with fragmented information and lack of counseling around higher learning opportunities, while education providers find it costly and inefficient to recruit the traditional way.
Launched in 2017 with a mission to make education accessible to 100 million students, the company claims to bridge the gap in this ecosystem by connecting the various stakeholders on a single platform.
On the student and K-12 side, it provides a range of web and mobile solutions, including AI-powered college search, application management tools, a strong communications suite, and the ability to apply directly to thousands of formal and informal higher learning opportunities across the globe.
“Cialfo was already on a very strong growth trajectory, but the COVID-19 crisis has really reinforced the importance of our mission. A standstill on global travel has upended education entirely – forcing high schools and universities to engage current and potential students virtually. The adoption of technology-driven education solutions is rising at an unprecedented rate and we have a key role to play in accelerating the student recruitment process from physical to virtual channels,” said Rohan Pasari, chief executive officer and co-founder, Cialfo.
On the other end, higher education institutions leverage their solutions to attract and recruit students through virtual college fairs, direct engagement opportunities, and data analytics that give them a better understanding of the student landscape. It also plans to work with leading universities to help them provide open online courses and other blended learning solutions as the world adapts to a new normal.
In 2020, the platform started working with higher education institutions for the very first time and has secured 650 new partners in a span of nine months, including the likes of Cambridge University, Oxford University, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago as well as local Singapore universities Singapore Management University and Yale-NUS. The company also currently works with more than 1,200 K-12 schools across 90 countries and plans to use the additional funds to target a larger number of K-12 schools in priority markets.
“Within a very short span of time, Cialfo has made big waves in the global edtech industry. We’ve found Cialfo to be one of the most mission-driven players in this space, helmed by an incredibly talented team of founders and executives. Cialfo has big ambitions to consolidate the fragmented higher-ed ecosystem and we look forward to working closely with them as they continue to chart new heights,” added Tommy Teo, managing director and head of Southeast Asia, Vulcan Capital.
Since 2018, Cialfo’s revenue has been growing over 200 per cent year-on-year as the company served over a million students during this time, making it one of the most rapidly growing startups of its kind in the region. The team headcount has also doubled in the last year and is projected to further grow as it continues to hire top talent across engineering, product, data, and marketing, and growth roles.