BridgeU bags $2.5m to help students find the right university for them

Octopus Investments led seed round in the edtech start-up as it looks to expand its product and range of programme offerings

BridgeU, a London start-up which promises to make “education decision-making intelligent”, has scooped $2.5m seed investment in deal led by Octopus Investments.

Fresco Capital, Seedcamp and high-profile investors including Founders Forum’s Jonnie Goodwin and Deborah Quazzo, also backed the round.

Launched in January 2015 by Lucy Stonehill and Hywel Carver, BridgeU uses machine learning technologies to recommend students the best courses and appropriate universities for them, weighing academic indicators as well as social and vocational preferences.

Available in the UK and in 15 other countries, the platform also helps students “leverage their unique strengths throughout the applications process”, build compelling CVs, and write essays to express themselves and communicate their achievements and goals.

In addition, it’s technology streamlines the admissions support process for university faculty – claiming to significantly reduce admin time for teachers and advisors.

It will use the investment to expand and diversify its range of programmes to include foundation degrees, online programmes and alternatives to traditional higher education such as apprenticeships and vocational training.

BridgeU CEO and co-founder Stonehill said of the funding:

“Students are confronted with many more academic and vocational options than ever before. While the diversification of post‐secondary opportunity is generally positive, it also results in greater fragmentation, and a more convoluted decision‐making process.

“We want to equip students and schools with the right technology and data-driven support to ensure that students are making the best decisions for their futures.”

Rebecca Hunt, from Octopus Investments, commented: “Making a decision about which University to attend can be daunting and difficult. BridgeU uses technology in an adaptive, intelligent way to understand and support the needs of each individual student as he or she makes this crucial decision.”

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