Empowerly secures $15 million for its school consulting companies

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Empowerment, an edtech startup specializing in school counseling and profession companies, raised $15 million in a current funding spherical led by Conductive Ventures, the corporate introduced right now. The brand new capital shall be used to develop its companies, develop its AI-based merchandise, and develop its first cell app, which is anticipated to launch in the USA by the tip of 2024. Empowerly raised $30 million on this day.

“The previous 12 months has been troublesome for your complete startup ecosystem, and a few say it is without doubt one of the worst funding environments within the final decade,” says co-founder Changxiao Xie . “This cycle is a testomony to the platform and companies we have constructed, from our recruitment of former Ivy League admissions officers to how we have leveraged knowledge and machine studying to guage and enhance pupil outcomes from highschool to varsity and past. . We’re working with extra college students and households than ever earlier than and seeing improbable outcomes 12 months after 12 months, and we’re excited to maintain the momentum going.

The corporate’s funding comes at a time when admissions season is turning into extra aggressive than ever and highschool counselors will not be all the time geared up to offer professional recommendation on college-related issues. In accordance with Frequent App Analysis AbstractThere was a considerable improve in school purposes, with 3,353,516 purposes despatched to 1000’s of colleges on the Frequent Software for the 2023-2024 college 12 months, up 65% from 2019-2020 (2,028 507).

Picture credit: Empowerment

“Final 12 months was one of the vital aggressive school admissions seasons ever,” co-founder Hanmei Wu informed TechCrunch. “Some Ivy Leagues, like Yale, have reported the bottom acceptance charges they’ve seen in a long time. But college students nonetheless don’t obtain enough assist. The advisor-to-student ratio is over 400 to 1, and college students really feel overlooked, identical to I did years in the past.

Based in 2018, Empowerly goals to ease the stress on college students, who can spend anyplace between 60 to 200 hours apply to high schools. After a free 30-minute session with a pupil, Empowerly designs a customized plan that features companies similar to school advising, essay writing, monetary planning, admissions exams, internship preparation and matching, analysis mentoring and way more. College students meet often with advisors and might converse with essay specialists, pre-professional specialty mentors, and former admissions officers from prime universities. Empowerly has a community of greater than 100 school advisors who deal with areas similar to pre-med, engineering, STEM, enterprise, legislation, and humanities, amongst others.

The value of every service varies, however the firm says its “complete consulting packages” usually price $5,000 and up. A Reddit person reported paying round $1,600 for 16 personal writing classes on Empowerly, whereas one other person claims to have paid $9,000 for his or her service (however didn’t specify which particular companies they paid for). College advising platform CollegeWise charges vary from $2,000 to $10,000, relying on what’s included within the pupil’s customized bundle.

Picture credit: Empowerment

Empowerly presents its proprietary know-how – The Empowerly Rating – as the primary differentiator between its opponents, together with CollegeWise, Salomon Admissions Board And I accepted. The Empowerly Rating evaluates a pupil’s extracurricular actions (sports activities, group service and golf equipment), achievements (awards and management roles), teachers and essays, then leverages predictive machine studying fashions to generate a novel rating , highlighting areas through which college students ought to enhance to raised compete with different candidates.

“It’s the solely predictive know-how that may additionally quantify subjective parts,” notes Xie. “Our tens of 1000’s of knowledge factors and proprietary in-house knowledge units additionally assist college students and advisors obtain essentially the most up-to-date info on what colleges and aggressive summer season applications wish to see in candidates (together with standardized assessments, writing technique, and so on.), what new applications can be found this 12 months that will not have been out there final 12 months, what alternatives are greatest suited to specific pupil profiles and what scholarships college students could also be eligible for.

The scoring system helps Empowerly advisors perceive which areas college students ought to focus nearly all of their time on, whether or not it is working towards for extra standardized assessments or signing up for actions further extracurriculars.

“Every of the highest 200 U.S. universities (with the addition of different schools) has a benchmark related to its admissions issue stage, and our platform and advisors evaluate the scholar’s Empowerly rating to those benchmarks to know in what areas the scholar is robust or wants extra. work,” Xie added.

The corporate additionally gives a number of experience-based applications for college kids to enhance their school purposes. For instance, Empowerly connects highschool college students with digital internships at Bay Space startups. College students can even meet doctoral college students. college students who studied in laboratories at prestigious colleges like Columbia, Brown and MIT.

Moreover, Empowerly joined the Sequoia Market in July 2023, offering its companies as an worker profit to working mother and father.

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