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Post $125K Funding by Gray Matters Capital, Edu-Finance Platform GyanDhan to Diversify into Loans for Skill Building

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Delhi-based Online Education Financing platform, GyanDhan, which has since 2016 enabled over 2,000 loans via banks to students in India to pursue higher studies abroad, has today announced that it will create a ranking of vocational training institutes in India using data insights to tailor loan offerings for individuals taking up reskilling, upskilling and vocational training courses.

The education loan lending platform will be diversifying its loan portfolio to include loans for skill building courses besides study abroad financing offerings.

The piloting of this new loan offering comes on the back of the $125,000 funding by Gray Matters Capital via its edLABS initiative. The US based impact investor had led the $110 million funding round of Washington based overseas higher education loan provider MPower Financing in December 2018, making GyanDhan its second such enterprise in its portfolio.

The funding was made with the objective of GyanDhan plugging skill gaps prevalent in India’s workforce by making access to hassle free and affordable loans for vocational training courses a possibility.

Founded in 2015 by IIT alumni Ankit Mehra and Jainesh Sinha, GyanDhan had earlier raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding, in 2016, from Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs with participation from Harvard Angels, and other individual investors including Pravin Gandhi, Partner- Seedfund Advisors in his personal capacity. Prior to that, the startup had received angel funding from Satyen Kothari, founder of Cube and Citrus Pay, to fund operations from the concept phase to their first loan disbursal.

Speaking about this business development, Ankit Mehra, Co-Founder and CEO, GyanDhan said, “As per the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, the number of individuals requiring training across 34 sectors is estimated at 126.87 million for the period 2017-2022. Loans for skill-building courses not only opens a new revenue stream for us, but also helps us impact more lives through gainful employment.” He went on to add, “GyanDhan will be looking at disbursing over 45000 skill-building loans within the next three years.”

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“Data science is at the core of what we are building at GyanDhan. Our target for the domestic segment is to create a ranking of training institutes basis the quality of education, placement statistics, and future demand for such training. Higher the rank, better will be the terms of the skill building loan sanctioned.”, outlined Jainesh Sinha, Co-Founder and COO, GyanDhan.

The fintech start-up will use its proprietary student employability assessment framework – GyanDhan Score, to help its partner NBFCs and banks to structure skill building loan offerings linked to employability-based outcomes. It aims to make it the de-facto standard for originating and pricing student loans in India. In addition, GyanDhan is also developing behavioral scorecards to assess the loan applicant’s willingness to pay.

To recall, in August last year, an another student education financing platform, Propelld, had raised $250,000 in seed funding from Indian Angel Network and IAN Fund. Propelld is also an IIT alumni founded startup.

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