London-based edtech Unibuddy raises £14.5M to transform university admissions process

Unibuddy founders

The pandemic made the current work from home and study from home a new norm. Students around the world attend classes online, right from their homes, and the current graduating class will most likely need to apply for a college online. With the aim of helping students make better decisions about their higher education, the global edtech startup Unibuddy has raised a notable £14.5 million in its series B funding round. 

Focusing on strategic priorities

The latest funding for Unibuddy was Highland Europe with additional participation from Stride.VC. Including the latest funding round, the startup has secured a total of £23.2 million since its inception in 2017. In a conversation with UKTN, the company’s co-founder and CEO Diego Fanara reveals more on how the latest funds will be utilised.

“This funding will help Unibuddy tackle a variety of strategic priorities. We’re excited about tripling the size of our engineering team. Over the next 18 months, we will launch a new suite of virtual event and community group products with advanced CRM integrations that democratize the student funnel data across institutions’ technology infrastructure,” Fanara reveals.

Fanara further notes that the startup is also focused on expanding its role in the full student lifecycle, from admissions to orientation to post-graduation. The funding will enable the company to continue its international expansion and double down in the United States and APAC. 

Peer-to-peer university recruitment platform

Unibuddy offers a peer-to-peer university recruitment platform that is said to provide a ‘virtual window’ into the higher education experience. The startup enables applicants from around the world to chat with existing students and staff of a university in real-time. As per the startup, most popular discussions on its platforms revolve around fitting in, programs of study, employability upon graduation, student life, admissions requirements, and testing criteria. 

“Unibuddy empowers students to make one of the most important decisions in their lives by humanizing, personalizing and digitizing their higher education journey. Our platform, which is designed to be seamlessly integrated within an existing website, includes three components: Chat, Live Events and Discover,” Fanara says. While we’ve already read about the chat functionality, live events are virtual events that aim to connect with prospective students. 

The discover feature is a partnership based reach option that is said to promote an institution’s ambassador program on trusted partner websites to reach prospects around the world. Unibuddy’s Discover partners include UCAS, Educatins.com, Liebareka and Study USA.

New features coming soon

After the latest funding, Unibuddy is all set to ramp up its product offering. The company will introduce its Events: Premium product that is said to allow institutions to choose between chat and video sessions, or a microsite experience, depending on what they’re hoping to achieve. The startup also plans to roll-out its community groups and CRM integrations. 

London-based Unibuddy currently employs 117 people with its offices in New York, Bangalore and Singapore. The startup says it has tripled its revenues this year as the rate of digital adoption within higher education skyrockets with 82% of institutions either engaging in, exploring or working to develop a digital transformation strategy.