Just four months after reaching unicorn status on a CDN$100-million Series C investment, Waterloo Region’s ApplyBoard has raised another CDN$70 million to fuel the growth of its school-application platform for international students.
In an announcement today, the fast-growing scale-up company described the new investment as a Series C extension. Participants in this latest raise include ETS, Index Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Harmonic Growth Partners and others.
In taking on equity investment from New Jersey-based ETS, ApplyBoard is forming a strategic partnership with the world’s largest non-profit education testing and assessment organization. The ETS investment in ApplyBoard was executed by ETS Strategic Capital, a new unit the company created to make strategic equity investments, growth partnerships and acquisitions.
ETS’s offerings include an English-language proficiency test called TOEFL and an admissions test for graduate studies, known as GRE, which prospective students will be able to access through ApplyBoard’s online platform as a result of the partnership.
“ETS and ApplyBoard will work together to provide prospective international students with an end-to-end application experience, from preparing and taking the TOEFL or GRE to searching for, applying to, and commencing studies at one of ApplyBoard’s 1,200+ partner schools across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom,” ApplyBoard said in a news release.
“At ApplyBoard, we believe that education is a right, not a privilege,” said Martin Basiri, co-founder and CEO. “United in our shared belief in the power of education to change the world, ApplyBoard and ETS will leverage this exciting new partnership to transform the entire application experience for prospective international students, breaking down barriers and empowering even more students to gain access to the very best educational opportunities available to them.”
ApplyBoard, headquartered in downtown Kitchener, now has more than 500 staff members across 20 countries. The company has raised CDN$242 million (US$180 million) to date, and was valued at $2 billion in May when its Series C round was announced.
Founded in 2015 by Basiri and his two brothers, Massi and Meti, ApplyBoard also took part in Communitech’s Rev accelerator program. Its rapid growth was featured in a Communitech News video earlier this year.
Applyboard simplifies the study-abroad search, application and acceptance process by connecting international students, academic institutions and recruitment partners on the same platform. It drives qualified applicants to more than 1,200 campuses across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Dino Becirovic, Principal at Index Ventures, lauded the ease with which prospective students can access schools around the world through ApplyBoard.
“Between schools, programs, eligibility requirements and other criteria, there are over 10 billion combinations that are considered for a single admissions decision today,” Becirovic said. “ApplyBoard offers a unique platform that abstracts away this complexity and provides students with a seamless application and enrolment experience. We are excited to partner with the company to help students access the best possible educational opportunities.”