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Prodigy Finance raises $240M to support the growing number of international students

Prodigy Finance - August 21, 2017

MBA Admissions Edge
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The United States hosted over a million international students during the 2015/2016 academic year – roughly double the number of students in 2004/2005. And, the figures continue to rise. An estimated eight million students will pursue an international education in 2025. Currently, there are more than 127,000 non-European Union students enrolled in UK universities alone.

The struggle for international student funding

And yet, these students continue to struggle to find the funds needed to finance their education. Banks and traditional financiers are often unable to lend internationally; they cannot easily assess foreign risk nor enforce loan repayment across borders. Traditionally, loan providers use only historical earnings to determine viability, often leading to insufficient loan amounts with high-interest rates or excessive levels of security.

Prodigy Finance’s unique global credit model, and variables such as assessing applications based on projected earning rather than historical credit, allows the company to provide funding to students without collateral, a cosigner or guarantor. More than 80 percent of Prodigy Finance borrowers have no alternative access to financing.

To date, Prodigy Finance has provided more than $325 million in loans that have been disbursed to over 7,100 students – 78 percent of whom come from emerging markets.

Prodigy Finance raises $240 million for international student funding

Today, Prodigy Finance announces an additional $240 million in secured funds. In addition to assisting new students with financing, plans are underway to provide refinancing for students that have student debt at higher interest rates, credit secured with collateral, or other unfavourable conditions on their existing loans.

The investment includes a $40 million Series C equity round led by international venture capital firm Index Ventures, with Balderton Capital and AlphaCode also participating, as well as a $200 million debt facility led by a global investment bank.

According to Cameron Stevens, Prodigy Finance’s CEO, “the investment will allow us to double the size of our student portfolio. We believe in financial inclusion and talent mobility and look forward to continuing to help international students break the funding barrier and further their education at top schools”.

This investment enables strategic growth plans that will increase the company’s footprint. In addition to assisting new students with financing, plans are underway to provide refinancing for students that have student debt at higher interest rates, credit secured with collateral, or other unfavourable conditions on their existing loans.

Sustainable investments with financial returns

Prodigy Finance’s student loans are collectively funded by a community of alumni, institutional investors and qualified private investors who receive both a financial and social return. Students gain access to higher education that they might not otherwise be able to finance. This model enables alumni of top schools to help fund students from their alma mater or home country while earning a financial return.

And, loan recipients can’t wait to assist future students. Santiago Arteagas, a Prodigy Finance-funded MBA candidate at Harvard Business School, says, “It’s basically people who have been in my position, and are trusting people who are now in need of loans to finance their education. That trust between generations is something that I really like. If I could get involved in this community of trust, I would definitely do it. I must repay my loans before I can lend to others, but I would definitely like to be part of this.”

Want to learn more about financing your education with a Prodigy Finance loan? Take a look at the programmes we currently support – and keep in mind that we’re adding new ones all the time. 


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