Early stage investment company Antler Australia recently backed a new cohort of startups as part of its ongoing program to build great local tech companies.
Startup Daily is sharing the details of each venture in the “Antler Investor Memos” series, which is designed to give you a quick, sharp understanding of the startups and people involved, with many seeking follow up capital following Antler’s initial pre-seed investment.
Company name: Studynash
Formation date: 2022
Stage of business: Pre-Seed
Founders: Devarshi Desai and Kunal Sitlani
Current investors: Antler
Currently raising: Yes
International education is Australia’s third largest export with over half a million international students currently enrolled and studying on a student visa in the country, according to the latest data from The Department of Education.
For international students arriving on our shores, they must navigate their student visa requirements, accommodation, employment rights, enrollment and course prerequisites, and everyday living arrangements. Many students rely on education consultants to support them during this transition period, particularly with course admission and visa requirements.
Former international students and education consultants turned startup founders, Devarshi Desai and Kunal Sitlani, are all too familiar with the challenges individuals face when deciding to study in Australia, not least the limited information available for students to make informed decisions on where to study and how to apply.
So after growing one of the largest communities of international students in Australia, they are onto building a better University discovery and application experience for international students.
Studynash is an online platform where prospective international students can connect with current international students for advice on universities and courses, then manage the University application and student visa processes.
Individuals receive expert counselling to support their transition to Australia through four key steps: A tailored courses and university recommendations through Studynash Course Search Tool, a call with Studynash’s educational consultants to understand the person’s individual study pathway, one-to-one sessions with current international students for candid and impartial advice, and once universities are shortlisted, students can manager their university and visa application processes on the Studynash platform.
“Understanding the complexities of studying in Australia coupled with the struggles of finding someone to answer your questions can be a nightmare. We’re on a mission to change this by helping international students seamlessly move abroad,” said Devarshi Desai, co-founder of Studynash.
Antler investment thesis
“Dev and Kunal deeply understand the challenges international students face when planning their study overseas and hold the necessary domain expertise and relationships to facilitate the end to end application process”, said Cath Rogers, Partner at Antler Australia.
“As one of Australia’s largest exports, international education is forecasted to substantially increase within the decade. As it stands today, the mechanisms of support to provide individuals with a seamless transition to life in Australia are fragmented. Our conviction in Studynashcomes from the combination of a large and engaged community with over 150,000 online followers paired with a platform providing curated admission advice and seamless process.”
Traction/ milestones, to date
Devarshi and Kunal have single-handedly built Internash (part of the Studynash group) into one of the largest online communities for international students with 113,000 Youtube subscribers, 29,000 Facebook members, and 21,000 Instagram followers.
Backed by this ever-growing community, Studynash has access to all courses offered at all 42 universities across Australia and secured 10 partnerships with private education institutes and onboarded 30 student ambassadors while it continues to develop its MVP.
Pre-Seed from Antler
Use of funds
Since securing Antler’s Pre-Seed investment late last year, Studynash has doubled down on its product capabilities building its MVP, while expanding its team support presence in India, a critical South Asian market for international students in Australia.
The founders say
“For the vast majority of international students, the process of applying and studying abroad has not changed in decades. The system is often fragmented, complex, and bureaucratic. With our online community of over 150,000 individuals, we are uniquely positioned to help solve for this with our easy-to-use platform,” said Desai.
“The problems international students face are very specific and quite different from local students. These problems require solutions specifically catered to them. At Studynash, we are addressing the challenges with course admission applications, from there we are expanding our offering to accommodation, employability and migration, to help individuals navigate all aspects of living abroad.
“Founded by international students for international students, we understand the complexities of studying abroad and how isolating it can be to navigate these challenges alone. With Studynash, we’re empowering individuals to have a seamless transition to their lives studying overseas.
“Alongside the initial investment, Antler Australia’s support through its early-stage founder community, mentoring, and ecosystem network has helped us tremendously.”
Antler, a global early-stage VC, is revealing all its latest investments made in ambitious Australian founders and startups. With over 100 investments in early-stage companies, Studynash is one of its most recent portfolio companies.
- StartupDaily is the official media partner of Antler in Australia.