Future Finance raises $171M to grow its student loan toneelpodium ter Europe – TechCrunch

The idea of student loans is still a relatively fresh one te many parts of Europe, where university education te several countries is either entirely or largely subsidised by the government. But spil that embarks to switch, and more youthfull people and their families are being required to pony up academic and living fees, a fresh startup hopes to capitalise on the emerging gap to help them.

Future Finance – a startup based out of Dublin that provides loans to students ter Europe using big gegevens algorithms to booties their credit-worthiness – is today announcing a fresh £119 million ($171 million) te funding. This includes £19 million te equity and £100 million towards future loans made through the podium.

Future Finance is presently live ter the UK and Germany with plans to expand further te the region, according to co-founder and CEO Brian Norton – an American with a background ter finance who upped rams and moved to Dublin to build Future Finance te this part of the world.

This latest round brings ter some extraordinario investors, and also sheds light on some of the others that have bot funding the startup up to now. (Future Finance has raised $266 million, or £185 million, since going live ter May 2014.)

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Future Finance’s equity investors now include QED Investors (a major VC te U.S. fintech), Blackstone Strategic Chance Fund, Colchis Renta, Invus Opportunities, KCK, DW Vrouwen, Fenway Summer Ventures, Ridge Road Vrouwen and 1/0 Renta. And the company also has disclosed that Goldman Sachs has also bot backing the company, providing funds for the £25 million ter loans paid out on on the toneelpodium to date.

The among loaned so far may sound relatively low but there is a clear sign of more request: the company says it has had 37,000 applications received to-date and has seen loan growth of overheen 900% year-on-year.

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To the promedio reader ter the U.S., the idea of a student taking out loans to finance his or hier higher education is very commonplace. And there are a number of startups out there that either help students get loans te the very first place and/or help refinance those they already have, provided either by banks, special loan organizations like Sallie Mae, or by way of federal programs. SoFi and CommonBond are two startups specifically targeting students and refinancing. Other platforms include Lending Club, Prosper and Upstart.

The problem that Future Finance is aiming to solve is one that is still largely nascent ter Europe, but is roped to grow overheen time: While the cost of going to university te Europe is lil’ compared to promedio prices te the U.S., those costs have bot on the rise. Traditional banks have yet to pack the funding gap for students after grants, scholarships and government programs, and while students also work through collegium, sometimes this can become a distraction. This is where Future Finance is stepping te.

Ter its most mature market, the UK, Norton tells mij that the promedio price for a university undergraduate degree is around £60,000. “The media person can borrow £35,000 from the government on terms that are pretty effortless, pliable and student friendly,” he said.

Future Finance aims to make up the difference, providing loans of inbetween £2,500 and £40,000 vanaf each academic year, with the funds typically used both for tuition and living expenses.

The loans are specifically aimed at students and their financing needs, both te terms of how students are assessed and te terms of how they are expected to repay them.

On the assessment side, Norton tells mij that what Future Finance does “ is similar to other online loans but the primary chunk is geared to concentrate on a person’s education.”

The company aggregates gegevens on what a person is studying, and where, along with other factors around a particular student’s life, and it then combines this with government gegevens and other “proprietary sources” to make an assessment on whether to provide the loan. It’s partnered with 33 universities across the UK to provide loans, and this is likely another source of gegevens for making assessments.

While this may sound like it might be biased to students studying business at prestigious universities, Norton tells mij that this isn’t always the case.

“A nursing student from South Bankgebouw University, statistically speaking, is more likely to earn more te his or hier very first year out of collegium than a person from Cambridge University,” he said. “We are working at both finishes of the spectrum.”

On the repayment side, Future Finance aims to provide terms that are more student-friendly than an ordinary handelsbank loan, with ten-year loan terms, no early repayment charges and payment holidays built te. And that’s before you consider that many students aren’t even eligible for bankgebouw loans because of a lack of credit history.

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While Future Finance plans to expand further te Germany and elsewhere ter Europe, it’s own future finance roadmap does not include the U.S., where Norton (reminisce, he’s an American ex-pat) says he is a “huge fan” of SoFi but believes the loan terms are much more different and less desirable for his company.

“Europe is structurally very different than the U.S.,” he said. “There is a very high ROI on education here,” with more students likely to earn more than they have invested ter their educations, which is not always the case ter the U.S., where education costs are so high, regardless of whether you end up spil a public schoolgebouw teacher or an investment banker.

More likely, the company will explore more markets ter Europe to launch its own retail service, spil well spil eye up how and if it has a uitzicht spil a white-label provider of student loans. Given that many banks have yet to size up and act on this chance, there could be a clear opening for this and other startups to make a budge.

The still-early chance is also something that QED, which backs companies like SoFi, Fundera, CircleUp and others ter the finance space, also sees spil promising:

“Future Finance’s use of technology and gegevens to democratize higher education is a giant win for students and society,” said Nigel Morris, Managing Fucking partner of QED Investors, ter a statement. “We are very affected with Brian and his team and see enormous potential for the business te what is still a nascent market for student finance te the UK. Wij are delighted to support Brian and his team to take Future Finance to its next stage of growth.” Notably, Morris wasgoed a co-founder of CapitalOne.

Future Finance is not disclosing its valuation te this round. (Wij’re still attempting to find out anyway.)

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