StepEx, a fintech startup aiming to facilitate access to postgraduate education, has raised £1.1 million in a pre-seed funding round.
Led by BBVA Anthemis Venture Partnership, the round also counted with the participation of Triple Point Ventures and several angel investors such as Chris Adelsbach. The startup had previously raised £270K from several angel investors.
StepEx, which is based in the United Kingdom, aims to provide graduates with an alternative system to finance their postgraduate studies, based on estimations of their future income.
The startup’s Future Earnings Agreement means that students using the service won’t have to pay upfront university fees but will pay a percentage of their income for a fixed period once they graduate.
In addition to this, they won’t be required to pay until they earn a salary above a minimum threshold previously agreed on.
This approach could open the doors to millions of graduate students who wouldn’t be able to pursue further studies otherwise.
StepEx founder and CEO Daniel George referred to this by stating:
“The best courses are too expensive for the vast majority of potential students. Debt is a poor solution to this problem, with lending terms based on past income. Instead, StepEx predicts an applicant’s future earnings with a machine learning tool that crosslinks a database of hundreds of thousands of graduates’ earnings, with various key factors related to the labor market and the level of employability of certain professions.”
The solution created by StepEx is not only beneficial to students but also educational institutions. With a high social impact and strong returns, investors will also benefit from supporting the startup’s vision.
At this time, London Business School, Cambridge University, and Cranfield University are only some of the institutions that have partnered with StepEx. The startup is also working on implementing its Future Earnings Agreements in European countries like Spain, Germany, and France.
With the increasing attention its approach has gathered over the past months, the fintech startup expects to sign more than three times the number of agreements it had calculated for 2021.