Blackbullion, an EdTech platform transforming students’ lives through financial literacy, has raised £2.5 million in an oversubscribed funding round led by Calyx Venture Fund, with participation from existing investors Lord Stanley Fink and MPA Education, according to a report.
With this fund, the startup plans to scale product development and fuel a new round of hiring. The team, which is currently made up of 15 people, is expecting to double in size over the next few months.
Founded by former wealth manager Vivi Friedgut in 2014, Blackbullion partners with universities to provide students with financial skills training and information on resources they might be eligible for, such as bursaries and grants. The startup has a strong track record in widening participation cohorts, especially for first-in-family students. Its platform is actively used as part of partner university student retention strategies. It is on a mission to help young people develop financial skills for life.
Talking about the platform, Founder & CEO of Blackbullion, Vivi Friedgut, said in a statement:
“The current financial downturn in the UK and beyond has brought the company’s goals into sharper focus. The bank of mum and dad is now starting to be tapped out. Helping people to understand money and manage it well is really important, but a lot of students don’t have enough. And so we’re spending quite a lot of our time and our effort on making sure that funding, whether from universities or externally, is easily available.”
The company’s tech platform is embedded into student support departments to help with fund distribution. Its partners include Imperial College London, the University of the West of England, UA92 and Central Queensland University.
Chris Donegan, Calyx Venture Fund, added:
“This was an opportunity for us to invest in a fintech company truly committed to taking on a major global challenge, driving financial inclusion, through financial education. Blackbullion has a strong business model, great leadership and real business fundamentals which is why this is such a great proposition for us.”
According to Friedgut, the latest funding round should give the company enough runway to get to a Series A round, which is currently planned to take place within 12 to 18 months.
“It’s been a really tough environment, we see much larger companies than ours shedding jobs and dropping their projections. We’ve never been a kind of ‘look at us, a million users and raise 10 million in order to get them’, we’ve always been about solid unit economics, sustainable growth,” Friedgut further said.
In 2019, Blackbullion had raised £400K in a funding round led by Lord Stanley Fink. Additional investments came from MPA Education, Emerge Education and Jisc, the membership organisation providing digital solutions for UK education and research.