Indian co-founded EdTech startup Cialfo extends series B to US$60 million to power global momentum and impact

Singapore-based EdTech company Cialfo – co-founded by a 32-year-old Indian, Rohan Pasari – has announced it has secured a further US$20 million in funding as part of a Series B extension, led by US-based investment firm Tiger Global. The news follows January’s announcement of a US$40 million round co-led by global investment firm Square Peg and Australian-headquartered SEEK Investments, taking the round size to US$60m. This brings the total raised to date to US$77 million, including the initial US$15 million in Series A funding in February 2021.

Cialfo is a digital transformation leader in higher education committed to increasing access for millions of students worldwide. This latest funding will help the company to achieve this mission by increasing its investment in strategic markets like India, including special scholarships for students. A US$20 million target was initially set for the Series B round, and the team managed to triple this figure as demand for international student mobility and virtual college recruitment soared during the pandemic.

Cialfo began its India operations in 2019 and has already enrolled over 300 high schools and 60 universities from the country as members. More than 56,000 Indian high school students are utilizing its platform every year to secure undergraduate college admissions. The company is a market leader in the segment, with over 60% of all Indian high schools that use a college-application platform being Cialfo customers.

A short-term surge in EdTech spending, brought on by COVID-19, is expected to recalibrate to a longer-term integration of digital technologies by schools from K12 to universities, and to drive higher adoption rates of hybrid education experiences in the years ahead. According to Research and Markets, the global education technology sector is experiencing a digital transformation – with a predicted growth of up to 130% by 2027 – which is expected to benefit people across a wide range of socio-economic and geographic backgrounds.

Among the first movers in virtual student engagement, and a specialist in Asian markets, Cialfo is well-positioned to capture this opportunity. Its platform currently connects over 270,000 high school students, their counselors, and families with over 1,000 colleges in 50 countries. With 85% of those students applying to three different countries – not colleges – the team has become renowned for its international student mobility capabilities. As a result, the brand also has quickly achieved trusted partner status with globally recognized universities such as Imperial College London in the UK, The University of Chicago in the United States, and IE University in Spain.

Commenting on the company’s Series B funding round, Cialfo CEO and Co-Founder Rohan Pasari said:

“We are very excited to receive continued backing from the global investor community and we are grateful to Tiger Global for extending our Series B to US$60m. Our full focus remains on evolving in a way that positively impacts our students, schools, and ultimately, society, with speed and at scale. This funding will help us to do just that. It naturally also will allow us to invest in continuous product development so we can deliver even more personalized and practical support to our community of students, counselors and universities. Importantly, growing our operations in critical markets, and expanding our 360 offerings to include scholarships, are among the ways we plan to capitalize on this infusion of capital, and give more back in return.”

Rohan Pasari, a double Gold Medalist from Nanyang Technological University with a background in Engineering, Economics, and Entrepreneurship, was honored as a 2020 member of the prestigious 35 Under 35 class, awarded by Singapore’s EDGE organization to young entrepreneurs for their contributions to innovation and the startup community.

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