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October 25, 2019

FinTech Disruptor Stride Funding Secures Venture Funding

FinTech Disruptor Stride Funding Secures Venture Funding

Stride Funding offers Income Share Agreements to fund higher education

San Francisco, CA and Boston, MA – October 28, 2019 – Award-winning education funding startup, Stride Funding (formerly AlmaPact Inc.), announced it closed its seed equity round of funding led by GSV Ventures along with Slow Ventures, Sinai Ventures, and Strada Education as co-investors.

"Human capital is the most valuable asset in our economy. Graduate school is a powerful lever for career and economic mobility, but too many students are deterred by debt from making investments in their futures. We fund students as if they are startups,” said Tess Michaels, Stride Founder and CEO. “The recent venture funding demonstrates the confidence that investors have in our mission – to help students fulfill their full potential while creating a compelling new asset class for investors.”

Tess Michaels added, “At Stride, students come first. When you fund your education with Stride, we invest in your success. We work with you to advance your career, by helping you build important skills and increasing access to helpful professional networks and promising job opportunities.”

According to the College Board, graduate students represent about 40% of the total student loan debt, totaling an estimated $37.6 billion in debt. Stride will use the seed funding to accelerate development of the first widely distributed Income Share Agreements (“ISA”) for graduate school, that allow graduates to share a percentage of their future income in exchange for tuition funding. ISAs better align the cost and value of education. Because future payments automatically adjust to students’ income, by definition, ISA holders can never owe more than they can afford.

GSV Ventures Founder and Managing Partner Deborah Quazzo said, “Tess is a passionate and talented entrepreneur with experiences at world-class financial and educational institutions, and we are delighted to invest in her company. She has assembled an experienced team, and through financial innovations like Income Share Agreements, Stride will expand access to education, and generate social and economic benefits for its stakeholders. I am very pleased to join the Board of the Company.”

“The $1.5 trillion US education funding system is ripe for innovations, and Stride is positioned to lead the way,” said Sam Lessin, Slow Ventures Founding Partner. “Stride examines the past performance and future potential of each student and tailors rates within specific academic programs based on outcomes. The team offers support to students like career guidance, networking, and employer connections to enhance their skills and earnings. Because ISAs tailor payments to individual financial circumstances, students become more resilient to economic uncertainties. This new way of funding higher education will attract more students and new pools of capital.”

About Stride Funding

Stride Funding (formerly AlmaPact Inc.) is a mission-driven company that helps students hit their stride – with flexible education funding. Unlike loans that lock students into rigid repayment structures, Stride offers affordable repayments based on income. The company has been recognized as a visionary leader by FinTech analysts for its innovative funding arrangements and commitment to career support. Stride’s executive team includes professionals with experience at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, SoFi, and Morgan Stanley; Stride’s board of advisors is composed of serial entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

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Patrick Conner


Apply for an ISA Today

If you are interested in using a Stride Income Share Agreement to fund your education, apply today.