P2P university recruitment platform Unibuddy has raised $20 million in financing in a Series B round led by Highland Europe and also featuring Stride.VC. Since its 2017 debut, Unibuddy has raised $32 million in total.
More than 200 universities around the world have signed on to Unibuddy, which is based on founder Diego Fanara’s struggles with choosing a university. It enables school seekers to virtually connect with student ambassadors and staff via a direct messaging system. Its top five markets are Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Singapore.
Canadian data says the three biggest areas of concern shared by prospective students are finances, mental health, and future employability, though they also ask about preparation for studies and admission applications. The top fields of study mentioned are Finance, Pharmacology, Geosciences, and Software Engineering.
So far Unibuddy said it has registered more than 450 higher education customers in 35 countries. More than 12 million total messages have been exchanged that can help universities with marketing.
“By 2025, our goal is to partner with institutions to empower 10 million students to progress on their higher education journey,” cofounder and CEO Diego Fanara said. “We will triple the size of our engineering team, expanding our product suite and with it, our role in the higher education journey – from selecting a program, to onboarding to post-graduation. In particular, the team will double down on efforts in the United States and APAC where there is a strong appetite for university admissions and recruitment teams to engage with both domestic and international students.”
“The higher education market is projected to reach almost $118 billion USD by 2027 and areas such as recruitment and retention are ripe for innovation,” Highland Europe partner Fergal Mullen said. “Unibuddy’s impressive list of institutional partners and growing participation from students around the world are indicative of the platform’s impact on university marketing and recruitment. We know from conversations with many university administrators that Unibuddy delivers significant benefits by enabling them to more effectively target suitable student applicants and to improve yield on offers made. We also noted that Unibuddy positively impacts first-year retention, which is a huge win for universities.”