Kuhoo raises $ 20 million seed fund from West Bridge Capital

To bridge the gap between aspirations of talented Indian students and reality, a one-of-its-kind student loan fintech platform Kuhoo promises to transform the sector. The brainchild of a former ICICI, HDFC Credila & InCred executive, and a banking veteran Prashant A Bhonsle, Kuhoo, has raised a whopping $ 20 million seed fund from West Bridge Capital.

Kuhoo is named after the sweet sound of the bird Cuckoo, which brings prosperity as per the Indian belief system. Kuhoo is also one of the names for goddess Lakshmi – the deity of wealth, success, and good fortune. Thus, the name represents the company’s larger vision of enabling students to take responsibility for their higher education and help their parents save hard-earned money for their retirement.

The cutting-edge digital platform aims to provide online loans to students aspiring to study in universities both in India and abroad. Kuhoo is the first student loan provider to offer products across various streams like engineering, MBA, executive education, online courses, coaching classes, and even new age courses.

Speaking about the venture, Kuhoo’s founder Prashant A. Bhonsle, also regarded as the Indian student loan industry pioneer, says, “We are on a mission to make Indian students Atmanirbhar. In our cumulative experience of over 30 years in lending to Indian students, we have observed that many talented students do not apply to good universities because they worry about burdening their parents with high costs of fees & living expenses. We want to change this. At Kuhoo, we combine our vast experience with advanced technology & data science to create risk & credit models. These models help us evaluate students’ potential employability and future incomes for various courses students enrol in. With this unique ability, Kuhoo can offer different products best suited to individual profiles of students from varied family backgrounds. The other – usually underrated – benefit to the students will be that this loan will help them build credit history while studying. As we all know that in today’s world, a good credit score ensures that the students will get access to the best financial products like credit cards, other loans, etc., once they start working.”

Kuhoo has onboard experienced global talents from across Technology, Data Science, Consumer, and student lending domains. Besides launching their innovative products, Kuhoo will be partnering with banks and other NBFCs along with top colleges and coaching centers across the world. Bhonsle further added, “As a fully online student lender, we wish to give the most dignified experience to students, parents, universities, and all our partners. We are also planning to use our expertise in assisting students to find their best-fit universities, courses, and even jobs after they complete their education.”

In short, Kuhoo promises to be the one-stop destination for students aspiring to become completely Atmanirbhar while chasing their dream careers.

Deepak Ramineedi, Partner, West Bridge Capital, said, “We have closely followed the Indian education sector for over a decade now. With the rising costs of education, we believe that India needs loan providers who comprehensively understand the problems of students, parents, and academic institutes. Assessing future employability & income of students are two of the biggest challenges for existing banks and NBFCs that are offering student loans. We are glad that we have found the right entrepreneur in Prashant. Other than his experience in creating one of the most successful student lending companies in India, we like his vision of using technology & analytics to build an online business model. In addition, Prashant’s passion for organizational culture and creating impact aligns with West Bridge’s core values. We are excited to partner with kuhoo and wish the talented team all the very best.”

Sumir Chadha, Co-founder & Managing Director of West Bridge Capital Partners, added, “During the last few decades, only a tiny percentage of the talented Indian students got a chance to pursue their dreams of higher education in the universities abroad. While that will continue to grow, the emerging world order and India’s economic growth offer students many career opportunities. Additionally, the Indian government’s policy push of creating high-quality education institutes and the Edtech revolution of recent years have opened attractive avenues for young Indian students”. 

West Bridge Capital has been committed to financial inclusion through long-term investments in sectors like affordable housing finance and education. We strongly believe that Kuhoo will play an essential role in making these high-cost courses affordable, mainly for middle-class Indian families. We are excited to back Prashant and his talented team at kuhoo in their endeavor of creating one of the largest student lending institutions of India”.

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