International law firm Osborne Clarke has advised Prodigy Finance, a global fintech platform that provides postgraduate loans to international students with no alternative access to finance, on a $40 million Series C equity round led by international venture capital firm Index Ventures, with involvement from Balderton Capital and AlphaCode. The round was part of a larger $240m capital raise, with the remainder coming from a global investment bank.
The funding will help Prodigy Finance to increase its operational expansion and provide additional funding for students taking postgraduate degrees in business, engineering, law and public policy at the world’s top 100 universities. The company is currently increasing its presence in the US, where international students contributed $32.8 billion and 400,000 jobs to the US economy during the 2015-2016 academic year.
As well as their funding success, the company also celebrates their ten-year anniversary, during this time they have provided more than $325 million in funding to over 7,100 students, 78 per cent of whom come from emerging markets.
Prodigy Finance’s business model derives from the inability of traditional financiers to lend internationally, as they are not structured to assess foreign risk, nor enforce international loan repayment. It also enables the alumni of top schools to help fund students from their alma mater or home country, while earning a financial return. To date, more than 80 per cent of its borrowers have had no alternative access to financing.
Osborne Clarke is a long-standing and trusted advisor of Prodigy Finance, having previously advised on the equity aspects of the company’s £100m financing in 2015.
The Corporate team that worked on the matter was led by Partners Robert Wood and Simon Jones who were supported by Senior Associate James Taylor.
Ranked Band 1 in Legal 500’s 2017 UK Venture Capital table, international legal practice Osborne Clarke is ‘deeply engrained’ in key venture and growth capital markets. With sector specialists across Europe, Asia and the US the team has executed more than 250 fund raisings during the last three years, supporting European businesses to raise over €2bn in aggregate. The team has particular expertise in the tech, media and comms, financial services and life sciences sectors.