Future Finance, a Dublin based student lender raised a $171m venture and debt round, led by QED Investors, with participation from Blackstone Strategic Opportunity Fund, Colchis Capital, Invus Opportunities, KCK, DW Partners, Fenway Summer Ventures, Ridge Road Partners and 1/0 Capital. The company also announced that Goldman Sachs has already been backing the company, providing funds for the £25m in loans paid out on the platform to date.
To the average reader in the U.S., the idea of a student taking out loans to finance his or her higher education is very commonplace. And there are a number of startups out there that either help students get loans in the first place and/or help refinance those they already have, provided either by banks, special loan organizations like Sallie Mae, or by way of federal programs. SoFi and CommonBond are two startups specifically targeting students and refinancing. Other platforms include Lending Club, Prosper and Upstart. The problem that Future Finance is aiming to solve is one that is still largely nascent in Europe, but is bound to grow over time: While the cost of going to university in Europe is tiny compared to average prices in the U.S., those costs have been on the rise.