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Ed-tech Startup Leverage Edu Raises Seed Funding from Alok Mittal, Jim Schmidtke, Ritesh Malik & Others

Backed by some of the most renowned names in the internet space, Leverage Edu is in a space that is increasingly seeing a lot of traction globally, with global competitors like SchoolApply, CollegeVine, Paragon One and others ramping up.

Ed-tech startup Leverage Edu, that had raised its initial seed round led by Kashyap Deorah recently, topped it up with seasoned investor Alok Mittal (early backer of BharatMatrimony, co-fonder of Indifi), Innov8 founder Ritesh Malik, ET 40Under40 Deepak Jain, and California State University Professor Jim Schmidtke participating. The startup is solving career development (mentorship, college applications, top-job readiness) at scale using artificial intelligence, with a customer-first marketplace approach that gives students access to seasoned professionals from around the world. Started by Akshay Chaturvedi and Rajiv Ganjoo, Leverage has grown very rapidly over the last 6 months, with a triple-digit revenue growth and 500+ successful college applications submitted. It's tasted success with this scale, students in the recent weeks receiving invites from Wharton, NYU Stern, Carnegie Mellon, IIM Ahmedabad, GeorgiaTech, ESADE, Rotman and other top schools from around the world. Presently, it's also working with a host of undergraduate and business schools, getting the students placement-ready.

Speaking on the round, Akshay Chaturvedi, Co-founder & CEO, said, "Its sheer privilege having Alok Sir, Jim, Deepak, Ritesh & others join the round. We continue to focus on building a great launch product that's going to be out early next year, and provide a great experience to both sides of the marketplace - ie the high-achiever Leverage Experts & the ambitious students. We have grown over 7x in revenues over the last 8 months, and closed our half-year books last month with a very significant net profit. So while the hockey stick approach to scaling-up is there, we are doing it in a very sustainable fashion. We want to be the largest player in this space across the Indian subcontinent, Middle-East and South-East Asia. We are also putting together a very solid core team!"

Backed by some of the most renowned names in the internet space, Leverage Edu is in a space that is increasingly seeing a lot of traction globally, with global competitors like SchoolApply, CollegeVine, Paragon One and others ramping up.

Alok Mittal, one of the earliest backers of BharatMatrimony, added: "Leverage has had a breathtaking run so far, and I am very excited about what's next for them. Their technology-first approach to help build careers at scale is very promising, and in line with how great future companies are going to be built - ie by building communities & getting people to do great things. I am looking forward to closely working with Akshay and team to take this to the next level."

Excerpts from a brief chat with the startup founders:

1) What was the reason for this funding and how will this new financing be used?

This is a small top-up to the seed round, done to bring onboard some great mentors as Leverage Investors. With their expertise, experience and network, we as a company will be able to get to where we want to much faster, and sustainably at that. We've already had them open multiple gates for us. These funds will be mostly used towards product development, further building our team, and fuelling what's already working.

2) Future growth projections?

We launched our UAE operations last month, and are now helping students in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. At the end of the ongoing quarter, we will evaluate the UAE-foray, and accordingly start moving to other middle-east countries. In the first half of next year, we'll be also venturing into a very large SE-Asian market, work for which is underway. At the same time, we are also tapping tier-2 cities, and have seen astounding numbers there. We are looking at doing 1000+ college applications and touching another 1000 'Leverage Ready-For-Work Mentor Workshops' by the end of this financial year. While at it, we'll continue to maintain our double digit month-on-month revenue growth.

3) Anything else that you'd like to add?

We strongly believe we are heralding a new way of building careers, and democratising 'access to grow 10x in life' to everyone who wants to. Kashyap Sir often calls us as 'the AirBnB of Careers', and that helps put our ambition in perspective. In his earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg said the next set of technology companies will bring people closer, and get them to contribute in each other's growth - by providing the students of today the opportunity to be mentored by the leaders of today, we're setting up ground for magic to happen!



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