ETS Strategic Capital Increases Latest MPOWER Funding Round to $30 Million

by MPOWER Financing | In In The News, Pick of the month, Press Releases | 8 March 2021 | Updated on: April 13th, 2021

The two firms are excited to expand educational access to high-promise international and DACA students

WASHINGTON DC, March 10, 2021 — MPOWER Financing, an innovative fintech platform and the leading provider of educational loans to high-promise international and DACA students, announced that it has secured a $5 million investment from ETS Strategic Capital on behalf of ETS, the world’s largest nonprofit educational assessment, research and measurement organization. 

The investment is in addition to a recent $25 million round, led by Tilden Park Capital, to further automate MPOWER’s digital loan platform and expand the company’s impact to thousands of additional international & DACA students. ETS’s investment in MPOWER was executed by ETS Strategic Capital, a new unit of ETS created to advance the organization’s mission of expanding global reach in education through strategic investments, partnerships, and acquisitions.

“Our investment in MPOWER is a reflection of our mandate to leverage innovative entrepreneurial tech companies and emerging business models to expand on capabilities and align to the mission of ETS,” said Ralph Taylor-Smith, the Managing Director of ETS Strategic Capital. “The MPOWER mission and vision of expanding educational opportunities to underserved populations worldwide aligns incredibly well with the strategic global objectives that ETS is focused on.” 

“MPOWER is delighted to be working with ETS and exploring ways to support the millions of students who test with them globally every year. By democratizing access to financing, we hope an even greater number of qualified students around the globe will venture to study in North America.”  said Manu Smadja, MPOWER Financing’s CEO and Co-founder. “As impact-oriented firms with a global outlook, our teams instantly connected and are excited to help students attain the best possible educational outcomes.”

This year, MPOWER will be growing its team in Washington, DC, and Bangalore, India where it plans to hire 50+ employees across Engineering, Marketing, Operations, Underwriting, Analytics, HR, and Finance. MPOWER was named one of the best places to work in Washington DC, one of the best tech workplaces for diversity, and one of American Banker’s top fintech firms to work for three years in a row. Predominantly ex-international students themselves, the MPOWER team directly relates to the challenges that international students face due to the COVID-19 pandemic and fast-changing immigration policies, and the company is honored to support international students at this critical time in history.  


MPOWER Financing, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with offices worldwide, is a mission-driven fintech company and provider of global educational loans. It is the only student lender in the world that leverages both overseas and domestic credit data, as well as future earning potential, to serve high-promise international and DACA students. MPOWER Financing works with over 350 top universities and colleges across the U.S. and Canada to provide financing to students from over 200 countries. Since 2014, it has received over $2B in loan application volume on its platform. MPOWER Financing helps students build their credit histories and provides them with personal finance education and career support to help prepare for life after school. 

ETS Strategic Capital serves as the private equity investment and M&A execution arm for ETS, its subsidiaries and its partners sourcing transactions within both the domestic United States and internationally. The unit partners with the broader EdTech ecosystem to identify and execute deals, coordinate with other ETS business units to identify opportunities and needs, network with professional services firms with education expertise, and build direct relationships with businesses internationally — especially within Asia Pacific, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East & Africa (MENA) regions. ETS Strategic Capital targets private equity investments that are typically in Series B, C or later; acquisitions that are middle-market in scale; and growth partnerships that may involve joint ventures (JVs), channel-partner or distribution agreements, Intellectual Property (IP) licensing and technology-transfer relationships.

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