HomeFundingMadrid-based StudentFinance scores €39 million to democratise upskilling across Europe

Madrid-based StudentFinance scores €39 million to democratise upskilling across Europe

Upskilling platform StudentFinance has just raised €39 million to fuel its European growth plans. The Madrid-based company aims to address the global skills shortage through skills training and is scaling fast. 

It’s reported that we’re living amidst a global skills shortage. As the world goes increasingly digital and tech-driven, high-level skills are more and more in demand across sectors on a global level. In fact, the World Economic Forum predicts that we will need to retrain 1 billion people by 2030.

StudentFinance, based in Madrid, want to address this market need. The startup offers an upskilling platform for the most in-demand sectors, including data, technology, engineering, artificial intelligence and climate/green economy. The firm has just secured new investment to scale.

Funding details

  • €39 million raised in a Series A fundraise, bringing the total funding raised to €44.7 million
  • The round was led by Iberis Capital on the equity side, and Smart Lenders Asset Management on the debt side, with support from Armilar Venture Partners, Mustard Seed Maze, Giant Ventures and Seedcamp
  • The company also secured backing from UK angel investors including Ed Vaizey, the longest-serving Culture & Digital Economy Minister, Tom Blomfield, founder of Monzo, and Martin Villig from Bolt.

Launched in 2020, StudentFinance helps people develop the skills they need to reach their potential, and reach the skills demand that is growing across the world. The company develops AI models to map the most in-demand skills, qualifies the leading education providers to tackle those skills gaps, and then provides flexible financing options to people seeking to upskill through those programs.

Mariano Kostelec, cofounder and CEO of StudentFinance: “The demand for workforce upskilling has never been greater. We’re on a mission to plug this gap across Europe while empowering individuals to level-up their careers. Our platform is currently over-subscribed so, with the new funds, we’re looking forward to helping as many people as possible embark on training courses to upskill. We aim to expand our coverage to build the workforce for the future, in particular in areas such as technology, AI and climate change.”

It currently partners with education partners ranging from boot camps, and certificate providers to masters degrees – offering both a success-based financing model and fixed instalments. Users only start paying back once they are employed and earning above a minimum income threshold. Existing programs include Web development and Data analytics from Ironhack, Machine learning from AiCore, Cyber security from Capslock, Virtual reality programs from Mastered, and Data Science from Le Wagon.

Since its launch, the platform has helped users access more than 250 upskilling programs through more than 50 education providers. It’s currently operating across Europe, including in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Finland.

Diogo Chalbert Santos, partner at Iberis Capital: “StudentFinance has pioneered a new model to address one of the most pressing societal challenges, the digital skills gap. By removing the hurdle of financing courses up-front, they are democratising access to the skills that are in highest demand. We’re excited to support the team in their next chapter as they scale to make a bigger impact in this space.”

Moving forward, StudentFinace plans to work with corporates to power employee upskilling at scale, enabling them to future-proof their workforce. Potential avenues include supporting the automotive industry with the shift to electric, bolstering the energy industry’s ambitions for a net zero economy, and enabling a greater implementation of AI technologies. This new investment will help fuel this as well as be used to launch operations in the UK and Germany. The company will also further expand its offering in the Spanish market, having partnered with the European Investment Fund.

Erich Bonnet, partners at SmartLenders Asset Management: “There is a critical need to upskill our global workforce now more than ever, and StudentFinance is leading the way in empowering training and economic mobility. The team has built a unique platform that enables individuals to take control of their career, being able to command a 50% increase in salary as a result of their new abilities. We look forward to seeing StudentFinance support thousands more people upskill.”

Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.
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