Study Abroad Platform Leverage, which operates LeverageEdu.com, UniValley.com, UniConnect, among others – announced today its foray into financial services. Within this, the company is launching three different services: international remittances, education loans, and international bank accounts.
Speaking on the announcement, Founder & CEO Akshay Chaturvedi said,”topmost focus area for us is remittances right now, its got a great product-market fit with the student journey, plugs in beautifully with our app, and has grown a full 100% month-on-month ever since it’s pilot 3 months back. That gave us the confidence to apply for an FFMC license,”.
The company said it has been in discussions with the RBI for the last 1-2 months, who have been extremely supportive, and is hoping to receive the license in the next few weeks.
Akshay Chatutvedi added, “We have a different approach on education loans, and are at the moment only aiming to facilitate the lowest possible interest rate to be able to complete the loop for students – that gives us a chance to work with leading public sector banks and undercut the market massively, being able to give out the best interest rates!”.
The company said that in a pilot for its students in the last intake, it processed loans over ₹75 Crores, and is aiming to hit a ₹1000 Cr loan book in the next 6 months. Today, it has an
API-level relationship with multiple banks, and gives them access to an additional app built on the Leverage Student Dashboard. “Leverage Edu stands for trust, and that takes precedence over all else for us. We had a record 18% referral in the September intake. Students trust us to help with the right country, right program, and how they lead into the right-fit employment outcomes right from step zero! Most lenders don’t have the kind of relationship we have with a student, and we are using the same to be able to fight on behalf of the student for best rates, and more customized pricing / credit decisions that take into account multiple external factors outside just the plain financial records”, Akshay added.
Leverage Finance is being built by Rachit Juneja, who has previously worked with Constellation Blu (Blume Ventures’ partner firm), & KPMG in its Financial Services division. The team already has a headcount of over 30 right now, and is looking to hire 60-70 more people next quarter across several roles.
The company has also facilitated opening over 500 bank accounts over the last 1-2 months, primarily of students heading to study in the UK and Canada. These are done in partnership with destination-country banks, and the entire process is completed in India, before the student flies out. This gives a chance for banks in foreign countries to extend their services to Leverage customers.
With this move, Leverage is looking to compete with players like Raghunandan G run Zolve, which only focuses on the US at the moment. Revolut, one of the leading global fintechs, also announced an Indian foray recently, and said it would deploy $25Mn. Having started out as a travel-focused service for cheap currency exchange transactions, Revolut is also apparently eyeing to acquire the forex license in India.