GyanDhan, an education loans marketplace operated by Delhi-based Senbonzakura Consultancy Pvt. Ltd, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs and Harvard Angels.
Pravin Gandhi, partner at Seedfund Advisors, also invested in his personal capacity, GyanDhan said in a statement.
GyanDhan had earlier received angel funding from Satyen Kothari, founder of Cube and Citrus Pay, to grow operations from the concept phase to its first loan disbursal.
The company will use the money raised in the latest round to build the tech platform to provide a better experience both to banks and students, and to develop its data sciences capabilities, co-founder Ankit Mehra said. "We will roll out new product offerings catering to the underserved pockets in domestic education over the next 12 months," he said.
GyanDhan was founded by IIT Kanpur and IIT Delhi alumni Mehra and Jainesh Sinha in May this year. Sinha is also an alumnus of Patna-based education programme Super 30, operated under the Ramanujan School of Mathematics. Prior to founding GyanDhan, Mehra and Sinha were analysts at American financial services institution Capital One.
GyanDhan's product offerings include loans up to Rs 30 lakh without any collateral for higher education abroad. It has tied up with Axis Bank and State Bank of India to offer loans to customers, and takes a commission from the lenders, Mehra told TechCircle.
Mehra said GyanDhan will introduce loans for coaching and skill development in the next six months. "We work with banks at the corporate level. We also help students in career counselling and find jobs," he added.
Sinha said that banks have been reluctant to offer education loans due to high bad loans and that this is widening the gap between those who can and cannot afford higher education. "We seek to expand and equalize access to higher education through our proprietary models that help banks assess the employability of students and make better decisions," he said.
The company claims it has processed about 2,500 applications to date and has helped students avail loans worth Rs 10 crore through its partner financial institutions. The firm expects to process transactions worth Rs 30 crore by the end of the year.
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