ApplyBoard Raises $17 Million to Expand AI-Powered School Application Portal

Bringing the right kind of working talent to Canada is a huge deal right now, and one company just picked up a big funding round to help ensure the country remains competitive.

ApplyBoard has announced a $17 million Series A funding round. The round was led by the Silicon Valley-based Artiman Ventures, with ApplyBoard’s earlier investors 500 Startups, Candou Ventures, and Think+ following on, as well as a few others.

Based in Kitchener, ApplyBoard is an AI-powered marketplace that helps international students find the best schools around the world and apply to them in a simplified manner.

The platform has a distinct focus on bringing students to North American schools. When a student signs onto the platform, they create a profile based on different factors such as academic background, financial situation, and desired major, then ApplyBoard’s AI engine matches the student with a list of schools and programs they would be a fit for.

The platform also offers a good deal of transparency surrounding the schools as well—things like concise tuition costs, rent prices, information about public transit and surrounding neighborhoods and more are all also included when browsing through schools.

“There is a massively underserved market for international study,” said Martin Basiri, CEO and co-founder of ApplyBoard. “Millions encounter the same problem, such as collecting the required documents and securing a student visa, every year. The company was built from my own experiences and challenges as an international student. We created ApplyBoard to offer our expertise and help other students with their application process.”

Through its rigorous pre-vetting and application process, ApplyBoard has reached a shocking 95 per cent acceptance rate for students using the platform. So far, over 750 educational institutions are included in ApplyBoards inventory, and the company expects to have over 1,000 by mid-2019. So far, over 10,000 foreign students have applied to North American schools through the platform.

“The majority of the seven million international students will struggle to find their ideal colleges, and instead will select where they spend the next four years and potentially the rest of their lives, based upon internet searches and random chance,” said Akhil Saklecha, a partner at Artiman Ventures. “ApplyBoard applies technology to a very manual process, creating a highly efficient application solution for students and colleges globally.”

With offices in China, Vietnam, Nepal and India, ApplyBoard has a worldwide reach and offers students a secure place to store sensitive documents such as transcripts and personal information.