Each year more than 500,000 international students apply for a place at a UK university. And nobody understands the importance of getting this life-changing decision right more than founder Abhishek Nakhate.
Sixteen years ago, he arrived in Cardiff from India to embark on a Master’s degree in business. The challenges he faced in finding the right course left a lasting impression. This led the graduate entrepreneur to launch his own company, Zoom Abroad, which is now helping hundreds of thousands of students from abroad to find the perfect course in the UK.
Zoom Abroad is exactly the kind of fast-growing start-up that Harper James was built to support with our subscription legal services. We have been working with the ambitious edtech firm since they formed in 2017, making them one of our longest serving clients. And, in the latest exciting part of the company’s journey, we’ve now helped them secure £250,000 funding from angel investors – a real area of Harper James expertise.
It means Zoom Abroad, which employs 17 people, has attracted an impressive £650,000 in total funding since it launched. The Hertfordshire-based company now plans to use the investment to accelerate the development of the unique software their website uses to match international students with UK courses. With 25,000 candidates already signed up to their game-changing service, the company is aiming high, setting growth targets of 100,000 students by next year and one million by the end of 2022.
Commenting on their ambitious plans, Abhishek says: ‘The driving force behind our business is helping students realise their potential. This investment, and the changes we will be able to make to the service we offer, will massively help us to do this.’
Abhishek was supported in his funding round by Jas Bhogal, a corporate solicitor with Harper James, who closes deals regularly for many of our 1,200 clients. ‘I can’t speak highly enough of the service we received.’ Abhishek said. ‘When I first spoke to Harper James, I was coming at things as an aspiring start-up with very little money in my pocket. But Jas and the team were able to help me to decide what the priorities were in the legal services I needed and made sure they were put in place. Their support in the funding rounds we’ve gone through has been invaluable. I’d definitely recommend Harper James.’
As a start-up ourselves, we are well-placed to understand the issues that early-stage businesses face. Many young companies are put off from seeking high-quality legal advice because of perceived costs. By making legal advice accessible, we’re enabling more start-ups to scale with confidence. Commenting on the Zoom Abroad’s success, our corporate legal expert Jas Bhogal said: ‘It is fantastic to have seen how quickly Zoom Abroad has grown and to help them in this latest round of development. We look forward to carrying on working together as they grow.’
Zoom Abroad is part of a highly competitive market for international students seeking to study in the UK. Out of the half a million non-UK nationals who apply to British universities annually, 53% do so via a third-party agency. Many companies charge students a high fee for the service, with some agencies not providing the high standard of service they claim.
Zoom Abroad’s key point of difference from many other agencies is they offer their expertise to students at no cost. They are now working towards a scheme where high quality students applying via their portal we will be offered a scholarship worth between £250- £1,000 towards accommodation, flight or other expenses.