Prodigy Finance, a UK-based fintech platform, has raised $500 million in debt funding from Canada Pension Plan Investments to finance deserving students for their international education.
The funding round, led by CPP Investments through its wholly-owned subsidiary CPPIB Credit Investments Inc, will enable Prodigy Finance to expand into a greater number of markets - including key regions such as India, China, South Korea, and Singapore.
Founded in 2007 by South African student Cameron Stevens, Prodigy Finance provides education loans to international students who enroll in business schools in the fields of Marketing, Business Administration, Engineering, Law, Human Resources, Public Policy, and Health Sciences among others. It provides a unique global credit model, which assesses applicants on numerous variables and offers loans to students without the need for security, a co-signer, or a guarantor at more than 800 schools around the world.
Prodigy Finance is dedicated to making university education possible for every deserving student regardless of their socio-economic background. The company claims to have financed over $1 billion in graduate education loans to over 20,000 high-potential students from over 100 countries.
Mayank Sharma, Country Head, Prodigy Finance India, said in a statement,
"We are pleased to have secured this substantial infusion of funds. We are confident that this funding will prove instrumental in transforming the future of numerous deserving students across the Indian-subcontinent who otherwise would never have been able to follow their dreams of studying in a top foreign university."
According to an official statement, the company will use the funds to grant loans to post-graduate students, with a major focus on students from low-income and lower-middle-income countries and women.
Prodigy Finance considers itself a social enterprise. The company said that 75% of its student borrowers come from developing countries and 34% from BRIC nations alone. The loans are funded by institutional investors, alumni, and qualified private investors. The coupon repayments are made quarterly after a grace period of 6-9 months.
Neha Sethi, Head of Capital Markets, Prodigy Finance said achieving this important funding milestone is another step towards achieving the company's goal of helping over 25,000 students every year. The company claims to have recorded 50 percent year-on-year in applications.
Prodigy Finance has recently partnered with 12 new colleges in the United States, taking the total count to 800 colleges and universities hosting 1000 postgraduate courses in its curriculum.
Earlier this year, Prodigy Finance had raised $250 million from the US International Development Finance Corporation, taking the total capital raised to $750 million. The company raised $12.5M in equity funding and $87.5M in debt funding in August 2015 from Balderton Capital and Credit Suisse respectively.