Edtech Investors are Flocking to SaaS Guidance Counselors

Apploid, a startup that helps international students find opportunities to study abroad, announced today that it has almost doubled its valuation in just one year. The Ontario-based firm is now worth about $3.2 billion after raising a $300 million Series D round led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Planning Board. The application monetizes revenue sharing agreements with colleges and universities. If a student attends a college after using their services, they receive a portion of Appleboard tuition. Meanwhile, the service, which helps students search and apply at school, is free to use.

Co-founder and CEO Martin Basiri did not specifically share revenue, but he did confirm that his company would grow its sales at an annual rate of over 400% in 2021. By the way, sales in 2019 lost $300 million, which means that Appicord is earning at least $1.2 billion in sales this year. These figures violate last year’s conventional Adtech description: Higher Ed is dead! Students no longer want to go to college. Bring back the interval year, but make it permanent!

Instead, the company is proving that the university’s technology stack is more profitable than many estimate, especially if you look beyond content offers and back-end marketing support. My take: Startups that help students navigate the institutional bureaucracy so they can get more value beyond their educational experience can therefore become a growing focus for investors as customer demand for virtual personalized learning grows.

Appleboard’s recent fundraising efforts have effectively shed light on the effective strategy of becoming a technology-intelligent guidance consultant for nearly 200,000 students to date. The company raised $55 million in September to bring to the forefront the enterprise force of a partner, Education Testing Services (ETS) strategy capital, the world’s largest nonprofit education testing and evaluation agency. ETS helps to conduct TOFL English Language Proficiency Test and GRE Graduate Admission Test.

Because of the adjustments there, AppLoad managed to launch AppPlof, a service that helps verify the documents of admissions and immigration officials that require international students to apply to colleges around the world. Today’s financing event similarly brings a strategic investor, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.