Empowerly, a data-driven education technology firm that offers personalized college and career guidance to students and their families, announced that it has raised $10 million in a funding round led by Goodwater Capital.
The San Francisco-based start-up will use the fresh capital to help grow its product and engineering team to scale, invest in existing and new acquisition channels, and prepare for the launch of the Empowerly mobile app.
Co-founded by Hanmei Wu and Changxiao Xie in 2018, Empowerly is designed to make college admissions guidance accessible to all through data-driven education technology. By leveraging machine learning techniques coupled with continuously updated datasets and guidance led by former admissions officers and experienced counsellors, the platform provides an unparalleled experience for students.
The start-up's mission is to empower students to become the most successful version of themselves. From college preparation, landing internships, and beyond, it supports students in achieving their academic goals.
Speaking about the capital raised, Co-founder of Empowerly, Hanmei Wu, said, "With the average national student-to-counselor ratio sitting at 424-to-1, Empowerly is committed to providing every student the resources and expertise they need to navigate the college admissions process and achieve their dream of personal academic success,"
She further added, "As COVID-19 continues to cause uncertainties about the state of the 2022 school year, parents and students alike need extra reassurance that their academic future is secure. We are thrilled to kick off the new year with this new funding, which will help grow our team and create even more advanced products for our students to thrive."
Empowerly uses algorithms and human expertise to connect students with their best-match counsellors, all of whom have a diverse mix of backgrounds, from medical and science to economics and engineering degrees, who will assess their applicant competitiveness at top US colleges and universities, internships and research programs.
Since its inception, the company has grown to support thousands of students from across the nation while also growing its revenue 6x in the last year. There are currently over 100 counsellors at Empowerly, making up a combined 700 plus years of academic guidance and admissions experience with over 122,550 college applications read and reviewed. Each counselor is carefully chosen to meet the demands of students from all backgrounds with more than half of Empowerly's counsellors being people of color and who have a specially dedicated field of study.
Co-founder and Managing Partner of Goodwater Capital , Eric J. Kim, added, "Empowerly is the leading software-enabled college counseling platform, and we are so honored to partner with them on their mission of democratizing higher education for students all around the world. Their community of counselors and admissions experts are collectively re-inventing how students approach their college admissions process and beyond."
Empowerly's long-term vision is to continue to increase the supply and diversity of counsellors available, especially as the average college application process is estimated to take up to 200 hours.
The company has helped thousands of students get accepted to their top-choice programs. It's team consists of graduates from top US colleges with expertise in a variety of subjects including STEM, pre-med, business and the humanities. The platform also has diverse work experience, including Teach for America, Goldman Sachs and Riot Games. Empowerly is passionate about building a community that helps students and their families find a path to success in whatever fields they choose.
In 2020, Empowerly had raised $1.6 million from TransLink Capital, Scrum Ventures, Azure Capital Partners, and Spero Ventures as well as angel investors Yun-Fang Juan, a founding engineer of Facebook Ads, and Russ Holdstein, the first investor in StubHub and Zillow. The start-up's latest round of funding brings its total raised to $12 million.