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BridgeU raises $2.5m to help students

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London‐based education technology startup, BridgeU, has announced a seed round of $2.5m led by Octopus Investments.

There was also participation from Fresco Capital, Seedcamp, and prominent investors including Jonnie Goodwin (Lepe Partners/Founders Forum) and Deborah Quazzo, who plans to contribute her personal investment in BridgeU to GSV Capital’s new edtech focused fund.

BridgeU has developed the first adaptive university preparation and careers guidance platform for students and secondary schools for use both here in the UK and internationally.

Rebecca Hunt, from Octopus Investments, said: “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.

“We, at Octopus Investments, are excited to be backing BridgeU and look forward to working closely with the team over the coming months and years.”

BridgeU will use the new funding to expand its core product to support earlier stage student decision‐making, and diversify the range of post‐programme offerings to include alternatives to traditional higher education, such as apprenticeships and vocational training opportunities, foundation degrees and online programmes.

“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.

“At BridgeU, we’re offering a solution in Guidance-as-a-Service. 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” added BridgeU CEO and co-founder, Lucy Stonehill.

A SaaS solution, the platform uses machine learning techniques to recommend to students the best courses and appropriate universities for them, weighing academic indicators as well as social and vocational preferences.

With a suite of cloud-based application strategy, research and builder tools, BridgeU also helps students leverage their unique strengths throughout the applications process, build compelling CVs, and write powerful essays to express themselves and communicate their achievements and aspirations.

With built‐in task management, smart notifications and process automation, BridgeU’s platform streamlines the admissions support process for faculty, significantly reducing admin time for teachers and advisors.

The platform’s interactive visual analytics dashboards also capture data from each school, providing actionable insight into both local and global admissions trends.

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