Cialfo, an education startup that helps college students with their admissions, has secured US$3 million Series A funding led by DLF Venture with the participation of Enterprise Singapore’s investment arm SEEDS Capital, YK Capital, and angels. In total, Cialfo has raised a total funding of over US$5 million.
The company said it will use the funding to support Cialfo’s U.S. expansion. Cialfo seeks to target a US$2 billion global market and secures a top three U.S. market position.
The company plans to raise a Series B by late 2020 to support expansion.
Cialfo’s platform helps manage student applications to colleges in the U.S. and around the world. Using Cialfo, education institution can help their students secure placements at top colleges.
Rohan Pasari, Co-founder and CEO of Cialfo, said that the company has also secured partnerships with The Common Application and Parchment to support electronic document delivery to colleges and plans.
“Cialfo was able to disrupt the counseling market by going back to the core: an obsessive focus on the customer. The entire platform is built around its users (counselors, students, and parents) and it offers 24/7 customer support, enabling them to bring average response times down from days to just hours,” said François-Xavier de Mevius, Principal at DLF Venture.
According to Cialfo, most students start using Cialfo when they’re 15 or 16 years old. Students in this level usually will go through personality assessments to understand their aptitudes and interests; exploring what career options are available and what kind of majors or courses they could take to attain those careers. Cialfo will also help them find extracurricular activities or classes to help them get into those colleges.
11th grade is when students begin researching colleges and working on their applications as they will submit their applications halfway through 12th grade. This is also when they’ll be writing and reviewing their application essays, typically in June or July for an October or November deadline.
Cialfo’s free Google Chrome app scrapes data to help students find essay prompts set by college admissions tests across the U.S., which vary by college. In return, it will be saving them hours in research time.
The workflow of one’s admission in Cialfo depends a lot on the country of application, the individual high school’s counseling office, and the major the student is applying to.
Cialfo’s next planning is to expand its product to reach upwards and downwards — to colleges and students. It also wants to allow access to the best education opportunities irrespective of a student’s background.
For colleges especially, Cialfo said it wants to work more closely with admissions representatives around the world to add visibility for their college profiles on the platform, making it easier for prospective applicants to discover suitable courses and get in touch.
Cialfo claims to have been used by schools in 40 countries including India, Singapore, Thailand, China, and Taiwan, Poland, Netherlands, Austria. The company now has a global headcount of 25, expected to double in the next year, with offices in Singapore, New York, Beijing, and New Delhi.