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How did backing India’s largest student platform create the largest ever syndicate on Angel List India!

In today’s progressive world, education comes above everything. India sees an average of over 1.33L students going abroad every year. We live in a world that believes that a degree from a college abroad ensures a higher standard of living. Every student going abroad needs a fair chance of both preparation and options. They need a platform to help them find opportunities that maximize their potential no matter where they come from. That is exactly what LeverageEdu does.


LeverageEdu is India’s largest international student mobility platform, matching aspiring students’ college choices. Founded in April 2017, LeverageEdu allows foreign universities to attract students from emerging economies. It helps students figure out what they should do and where they should be — wherever that be in the world — to realize their full potential.

LeverageEdu’s platform helps students navigate & assess their journey so far, match them to personalized mentors, counsel them toward their higher education dream with an employability lens and make sure that everyone is punching way above their weight to make dreams come alive and indeed be able to level up.

LeverageEdu was founded on the vital premise that “We are the true masters of our fate, the captains of our souls.” Everyone has the right to uncouple their destiny from the country they are born in to realize their potential better.

Emerging as one of the most reliable brands in the higher education space, LeverageEdu is the fastest-growing ed-tech company and has affected 10000+ careers till now. They want to be able to do that for a million+ students across India, Bangladesh, and Africa. The platform is seeing a double-digit growth of organic traffic at 30 million last year and is expected to be over 100 million this year.

Market Opportunity


According to the report by Redseer, online education offerings across Classes 1 to 12 are projected to increase 6.3 times by 2022 to create a $ 1.7 billion market. The post-K12 market will grow 3.7 times to touch $1.8 billion. India has an enrolled student population of 271 MN across grades 1–12.

7% of India’s student population belong to Tier 2+ Cities, while 81% of this population belong to the mid/lower-income household. It is precisely this demographic that LeverageEdu is targeting.

India currently suffers many impediments to learning outcomes. This includes: –

1. Lack of personal attention and poor teaching pedagogy

2. Value relative to the cost of education

3. Lack of international standards


There are 9000+ universities in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia alone. Many of these universities do not have the “brand” to attract quality talent. The advent of Covid-19 has only amplified this problem. We learned more about how Akshay planned to conquer this problem through Leverage in the DamaniTalks, Anirudh’s fortnightly video podcast.

This is the first time that Artha invested in a #DamaniTalks guest!

When LeverageEdu was first pitched to us, it was a B2C model that catered to the top universities only, which was not scalable. During the Covid19 lockdowns, Akshay realized this and pivoted to a B2B business model where LeverageEdu targeted the top universities and top students and went deeper into tier3+ cities.

Again, keeping students at the heart of what they do, LeverageEdu now charges the university a percentage of the tuition fee for each successfully enrolled student instead of charging the student.

The startup currently has 400+ university partnerships and expects to increase to 1800 by mid-2023. Some of the key universities in LeverageEdu’s portfolio include

What does Leverage offer that its competitors cannot?

Earlier, the study abroad ecosystem was controlled by brokers or Universities where the students’ goal was not given preference. The brokers would send students to universities that gave them the highest cut. Leverage provides a model that focuses primarily on the students’ interests to cut this bias. It does so by providing the student with the best options without charging any fee from the student.

It provides a full-stack product suite covering everything from university matching to student enrolment and financing. To this end, LeverageEdu also announced its foray into financial services early this year and targets a loan book size of ₹1000 crores within the next 6 months.

It is now awaiting a Full-Fledged Money Changers (FFMC) license from RBI, which will further boost its foreign remittance business. The company wants to hit a ₹500 crore loan book soon. The company has thus become a one-stop-shop for end-to-end solutions for students pursuing careers abroad.

The services provided by LeverageFinance will focus on international remittances, education loans, and international bank accounts. The company will provide loans at the best interest rate by leveraging its relationships with students to customize pricing and credit decisions that consider multiple external factors outside of financial records. This re-emphasizes the student’s commitment to the heart of everything that leverage does.

Artha is deeply entrenched in the fintech space, and we are excited to work with Akshay and leverage our connections, especially on the capital supply and credit risk assessment front.

Founding Team

Leverage’s founder and CEO, Akshay Chaturvedi, is Forbes 30 under 30 and a fellow at the acclaimed Draper University. Akshay was a guest at #DamaniTalks, Anirudh’s fortnightly video podcast. Additionally, Akshay Chaturvedi has had 8 past jobs, including Core Executive at Babajobs.

In an interview with Forbes, he said, “If ever there was a problem that I was going to solve, it was to be in education, aimed towards middle India… those who aspire to and successfully transform their children’s future.” Akshay’s commitment to his mission of ‘democratizing access to higher education got us (and many others) excited about this investment.

Chaturvedi came up with the idea when he was in business school in 2015 and then incubated it in Draper University’s entrepreneurship program to launch operations in April 2017. That same year he was selected as India’s Prime Minister’s Champion of Change.

The other members of the LeverageEdu core team include Digvijay Ganeja and Ambesh Tiwari, who have significant expertise when it comes to operations and management.

Revenue and profitability projections

The company has grown over 12x in revenue between February 2021 & 2022 and expects annual revenues of ₹3,500 Cr by 2026.

LeverageEdu has already crossed the $20 million annualized revenue milestone. They achieved this landmark while cutting the CAC by 2/3rd, thanks to 20% of revenues coming in the form of referrals. Around 35% of CAC reduction can be attributed to many slick tech product channels like virtual fair platform UniConnect, and IELTS-prep product Leverage Live, among others.

With a remarkable fundraise of $22m, Leverage intends to expand its operations in Nigeria and Bangladesh and develop its application support to Australia while establishing a presence in the US by 2023. They target an ARR of $80Mn by March 2023.

Artha’s Investment

Artha doubled down on its earlier investment in Leverage and raised a staggering ₹16.3 crores from 56 investors, an average cheque of ₹30 lakhs/investor — one of the highest averages in Indian history from such a large group of family offices. Meanwhile, we syndicated ₹9+ crores– the largest ever round raised on Angel List India.

Why did Artha invest in LeverageEdu?

Over the many calls we have had with Akshay and his team, we have been amazed at what they are building, the moat they are creating, and what they are solving for. This investment was fueled on account of the following: –

1. Substantial B2B revenues from 3–5-year exclusive arrangements with foreign universities with significant volume incentives. For example, Leverage was the 1st company with which the Queen Mary University of London partnered in more than 20 years.

2. Focus on placing students from Tier 2+ cites through a highly scalable online model creating a large target audience with significant revenue potential.

3. Possibly substantial long-tail B2C revenues to LeverageEdu via fintech partnerships to settle students in foreign lands (opening bank accounts, forex remittance, student loans, etc.)

4. LeverageEdu’s competitors, such as Apply Board and IDP, are trading revenue multiples of 15x to 22x compared to LeverageEdu’s 7x, leaving significant value on the table.

Where do we see LeverageEdu in 5 years?

As the company expands globally, develops more products, and enters new markets, we anticipate an IPO or acquisition by a larger EdTech offering a complementary suite of products.

We back LeverageEdu’s mission and believe they have a very bright future. Leverage penetrates the aspiring Tier 2+ student community looking for a better quality of life while connecting students to countries that suit their passion.

In Akshay’s words,” The future of education must be married with employability. People need to do what they are good at. Not everyone has to get into engineering. We have all seen 3 idiots. Wildlife photography may not find respect and opportunity in India, but we shall connect you to a place where it will.”


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