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5 Startups Helping Manage Student Debt 🧑‍🎓

5 Startups Helping Manage Student Debt 🧑‍🎓
April 8, 2021

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Student loan debt totals $1.71TR in the US and is growing 6 times faster than the economy. It’s also the second-largest type of consumer debt. In December, Congress extended tax-free incentives for employers to help with student debt repayment under the CARES Act, and the Biden administration said it would pause student loan interest and collections for more than 1 million borrowers in default on private lender loans.

But it still isn’t enough. Close to 8% of the nation’s student loans are in default, and one out of every 10 Americans has defaulted on loans. Now private startups are seeing new business opportunities in helping the continued student loan debt crisis, and investors are ready to fund them. 

  • SoFi, short for Social Finance, is a private online lending company that helps with student loan refinancing. They also offer MBA loans and mortgages. The company announced it was planning a merger via SPAC with Social Capital Hedosophia V, the SPAC headed by the investor notorious for leading SPACs, Chamath Palihapitiya.
  • Rightfoot takes the approach of student loan repayment through an employer’s eyes. It partners with employers to help their employees out of student debt, a movement that keeps the workforce happy. In February, it received its seed funding round of $6.5MM, led by Bain Capital Ventures. 
  • Goodly takes a similar approach as Rightfoot by partnering with employers to offer student loan repayment as an incentive for recruiting and retaining talent. In a now remote workforce were doling out free food and unlimited cold brew isn’t feasible, paying off debt sounds like a great approach.
  • FutureFuel focuses on building digital tools that can be deployed by employers as well as financial institutions to combat student debt. It raised a Round A funding of $10MM led by UBS in March. Notably, it is the only company on this list outside of California. 
  • Acorns is a fintech startup that specializes in micro-investing and Robo-investing. It just acquired New York-based Pillar, another AI-powered startup that helps optimize debt payments, especially towards student loans.
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Since last week, PrivCo has added:
3141 Companies | 246 Funding Activities | 74 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Patreon raises $155MM led by Tiger Global Management
Content Management Software & Internet Services • Round F • San Francisco, CA

OneStream Software raises $200MM led by D1 Capital Partners
Fintech Software & Internet Services • Round B • Rochester, MI

BLAZE raises $8MM led by Delta Emerald Ventures
Cannabis Software & Internet Services • Round A • Long Beach, CA

UnitedMasters raises $50MM led by Apple
Entertainment  • Round B • Brooklyn, NY

Productiv raises $45MM led by IVP
Analytics Software & Internet Services • Round C • Palo Alto, CA

Striim raises $50MM led by Goldman Sachs Private Equity
Data Integration Software & Internet Services • Round C • Palo Alto, CA

Nebula Microsystems raises $15MM led by Morningside Group
Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment • Seed • Richardson, TX

Allergy Amulet raises $4.1MM led by TitletownTech
Health Care Products • Seed • Madison, WI

Cresta raises $50MM led by Sequoia Capital
AI Software & Internet Services • Round B • San Francisco, CA

Acadeum raises $5MM led by Rethink Education
Education Software & Internet Services • Equity • Austin, TX

Price.com raises $10MM led by Ricky Caplin
E-Commerce Software & Internet Services • Seed • San Francisco, CA

Spekit raises $12.2MM led by Foundry Group and Renegade Partners 
Automation Software & Internet Services • Round A • Denver, CO

Holler Technologies raises $36MM co-led by CityRock Venture Partners and New General Market Partners
Messaging Software & Internet Services • Round B • New York, NY

Lowkey raises $7M led by Andreessen Horowitz
Video Games Software & Internet Services • Round A • San Francisco, CA

StarStock raises $8MM led by Andreessen Horowitz
Marketplace Software & Internet Services • Round A • Mamaroneck, NY

BrightPlan raises $9.5MM co-led by Fremont Group and The Cynosure Group
AI Software & Internet Services • Round A • San Jose, CA

Ballogy raises $9.5MM
Sports Software & Internet Services • Round A • Austin, TX


Pair Eyewear raises $12MM led by Javelin Venture Partners
Specialty Retail • Round A • New York, NY

RE-volv raises $10MM
Renewable Electricity & Fuels • Grant • San Francisco, CA

Curri raises $6MM led by Brick & Mortar Ventures
Residential Construction Software & Internet Services • Round A • Ventura, CA

Mantra Health raises $2MM
Insurance Software & Internet Services • Equity • New York, NY

IQVIA acquires Q2 Solutions for $760MM
Health Care Services • Acquisition • Valencia, CA

Magna Legal Services acquires Kim Tindal & Associates
Professional Services • Acquisition 

Friedman Fleischer & Lowe injects $100MM into Velocity Global
Human Resources & Employment Services • Growth Capital • Denver, CO

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