A Washington, D.C.-based startup that finances higher education in the U.S. for international students announced a $6 million equity funding round.
MPOWER Financing is seeking to fill a void in the $1.3 trillion student loan market: Many prospective students who live overseas are ineligible for government-backed loans.
The firm does not require a FICO score or co-signers on its loans, which range in size from $1,800 to $25,000. Instead, the company says that it uses proprietary credit risk models to estimate how much money the borrower will eventually earn.
MPOWER is one of numerous online lenders that are focusing on pockets of the higher-education market where Uncle Sam does not provide financing. Other startups are lending to students at computer coding boot camps, which are generally not accredited educational institutions.
MPOWER's latest funding round follows a seed round last year. The company, which was founded in 2014 and recently surpassed $100 million in loan application volume, said that it plans to use the new funds to enhance its technology platform and expand its outreach efforts in emerging markets.
The funding round announced Thursday was led by Zephyr Peacock India Fund III, a private-equity investment fund based in Bangalore, India.