CommonBond, one of the major players in online student loans announced their Series C equity round today. The total raise, which is over $300 million includes both equity capital as well as capital to fund loans. The equity round totaled $30 million and was led by Neuberger Berman Private Equity. Total raised to date between equity and debt now totals over $1 billion. The recent round will be used to hire individuals across the organization, scale loan operations and build out the platform for both consumers and employers.
In addition, they have acquired a company called Gradible. Gradible is a personal finance platform focused on helping students manage their student loan debt. This expands their offering to employers who would like to provide a repayment program to their employees. The benefit to employees includes two aspects: assessment and contribution. Employees will have access to tools to help manage and save on their student loans. Information provided to the employee is adapted to each borrowers’ situation.
The more interesting aspect of this news is the contribution piece. As an employee benefit, companies can now contribute directly to their employees’ student loans, similar to that of a 401k matching program. As student loan debt continues to climb, this type of employee benefit will become more common for employers as they try to recruit top talent. For CommonBond it means a less risky borrower pool as companies begin contributing to the student debt of their employees. [Read more…]