New Zealand-based edtech startup Crimson Education, a platform that helps students get into their dream university, has raised a $5 million funding from Solborn Investment, the venture capital arm of Korean holding company Solborn Inc.
The latest round of investment has brought the value of the company to $245 million, a big leap from the $160 million valuation Crimson had in 2016 when Tiger Global invested $30 million.
Founded in 2014 by Jamie Beaton, Sharndre Kushor and Fangzhou Jiang, Crimson Education provides consulting service to help students identify top colleges or universities and what they need to do in terms of academic and other activity to get in there. The startup’s personalized team of admissions strategists, leadership mentors, and tutors provide the insight that students need to stand out as a top applicant so that they are in the best position to receive that acceptance letter when admission season rolls around.
Crimson Education currently works with 1500 tutors and has had 20,000 students use its platform to date. The startup claims it has successfully placed 950+ students to top 50 US universities, 57 to Oxford and Cambridge, and 193 to Ivy League Universities. Besides, Crimson also offers $102.5 million worth scholarships and financial aid to its students.
As for the business model, pricing varies depending on the stage of the student (it offers programs for kids as young as 11), and what that student does - for example, straight SAT tutoring or a full-service program that includes identifying schools, getting the right qualifications in order and applying. The average revenue per students in the US ranges between $5000 and $10,000. Tutoring starts at $80 per hour and $2000 per module for the younger program.
Crimson Education is based around not just a network of human tutors, but a set of proprietary algorithms to identify what a student needs to do and the likelihood of achieving it, an app, a YouTube channel, a Q&A board, and a philanthropy arm focused on providing financial aid to people to use Crimson and to help Crimson students access and get scholarships and other financial aid to study.
Meanwhile, it is reportedly said that Solborn made this investment with the aim to help Crimson build its business in its country South Korea, where a huge population of young people are keen to study outside the country. With the latest funding round, Crimson has raised $42 million to date and it seems the startup is quietly gearing up to raise another round to double down on another new market for the company: students in the U.S., who are also looking for the same or better guidance to get into schools in their own country.