Singapore-based Cialfo raises $20M from Tiger Global; eyes India expansion

Cialfo, an edtech firm, raised $20 million in a Series B extension round from Tiger Global as it looks to expand its presence in India. The Singapore-based firm started operating in India in 2019 and claims to have enrolled more than 300 high schools and 60 universities, as members, on their platform.

So far, Cialfo raised $40 million in the first leg of their Series B round, bringing the total to $60 million from Australia-headquartered SEEK Investments and Square Peg.

Square Peg, which is based in Melbourne, has backed graphic designing platform Canva and Doctor Anywhere, a Singapore-based healthtech firm, among other startups.

“Our focus remains on evolving with speed and at scale. This funding will help us to do just that. It will also allow us to invest in continuous product development for personalised and practical support to our community of students, counselors, and universities,” said Rohan Pasari, Co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Cialfo.

Started in 2017 by Nanyang Technological University-graduates Rohan and Stanley Chia with William Hund, a serial entrepreneur, Cialfo is a marketplace where students get in touch with counsellors, across 100 countries, for the university application process. The platform is driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and has at least 170 employees working across India, Singapore, China and the US.

“Importantly, growing our operations in critical markets, and expanding our 360 offerings to include scholarships, are among the ways we plan to capitalise on this infusion of capital,” adds Rohan.

The firm works with Imperial College, London; Spain-based IE University; and The University of Chicago, among over 1,000 colleges across 50 countries.

Edtech sector was one of the most sought-after sectors during the pandemic, as virtual learning became the default mode. While Vedantu and Unacademy achieved unicorn status, the Gaurav Munjal-led firm went on an acquisition spree.

Tiger Global has also backed live teaching platform Vedantu, which is reportedly planning for an IPO (initial public offering), and Delhi-based Classplus.

Cialfo seems to be an interesting startup with a persuading development on computer software. I’m certain this startup would keep on thriving in its excursion ahead. All the best to the whole group of Cialfo. This will give them immense achievement later on.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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