ApplyBoard Announces C$375M Investment Round with a Valuation of C$4B to Meet Expanding International Student Demand

  • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board leads Series D round, through its Teachers’ Innovation Platform
  • Participation from existing investors such as Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, BDC, Harmonic, Index Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, and Garage Capital, also participated
  • New capital will be used to meet the pent-up demand of international students looking to study abroad through new product offerings, destination countries, and expanded support teams at scale

KITCHENER, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ApplyBoard, the online platform that empowers students around the world to access top quality education, today announced it has raised C$375 million (US$300 million) in Series D funding at a post-money valuation of C$4 billion (US$3.2 billion).

The round was led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’), through its Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP). TIP focuses on late-stage venture and growth equity investments in companies developing innovative technologies. Existing investors Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, BDC, Harmonic, Index Ventures, Garage Capital, and Blue Cloud Ventures also participated in the round. Since its founding, ApplyBoard has raised C$600M (US$475M).

“Education has the power to change lives and bring peace to the world, and ApplyBoard is more committed than ever to helping the millions of students who are dreaming of studying abroad,” said Martin Basiri, Co-founder and CEO, ApplyBoard. “With limited international travel over the past year, we are seeing pent-up demand from students looking to study abroad. We are excited for what this new investment will allow us to accomplish to help our students, partner institutions, and recruitment partners, so that our industry can build back better in a post-COVID world.”

Built upon the fundamental belief that education is a right and not a privilege, ApplyBoard is on a mission to educate the world by democratizing access to international educational opportunities. ApplyBoard has grown in six years to be the online market leader in the study abroad industry, helping more than 200,000 students with their application journey, and plan to support millions in the coming years.

ApplyBoard’s rapid growth continued this past year, expanding to offer access to international educational programs in the UK, Australia, and the US and doubling the number of global team members to more than 1,000. ApplyBoard has also added new products and services over the past year, including ApplyProof, which enables stakeholders in the student journey (including admissions officers and immigration officials) to trust the authenticity of documents, such as English test scores, letters of acceptance, and more.

“At Ontario Teachers’, we have a fundamental belief in the value of a top quality education,” said Olivia Steedman, Senior Managing Director, TIP. “ApplyBoard’s technology platform is simplifying the process of connecting students and educational institutions and creating greater opportunities for education globally.”

ApplyBoard was founded in 2015 by brothers Martin, Meti, and Massi Basiri. They were international students who came from Iran to Canada for their education and after seeing and experiencing the challenges of the application process they decided to start ApplyBoard to make it easier for others.

About ApplyBoard

ApplyBoard , Candou Ventures portfolio company, empowers students around the world to access the best education by simplifying the study abroad search, application, and acceptance process to more than 1,500 institutions across Canada, Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. ApplyBoard, headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, has helped more than 200,000 students from more than 125 countries along their educational journeys since 2015. To learn more, visit:

About Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’) is the administrator of Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, with C$221.2 billion in net assets (all figures at December 31, 2020). It holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, approximately 80% of which is managed in-house, and has earned an annual total-fund net return of 9.6% since the plan’s founding in 1990. Ontario Teachers’ is an independent organization headquartered in Toronto. Its Asia-Pacific region offices are located in Hong Kong and Singapore, and its Europe, Middle East & Africa region office is in London. The defined-benefit plan, which is fully funded, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario’s 331,000 active and retired teachers. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.


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Hugh Christopher

KeraCel Inc. Announces Name Change to Sakuu Corporation


KeraCel Inc., the leader in automated multi-process additive manufacturing, announced today that it has changed the company’s name to Sakuu Corporation.

The name change aligns with the company’s advanced additive manufacturing platform, which has been engineered to build complex fully functional devices at industrial rates, offering manufacturers an agile solution for mass production.

As well as solid-state batteries, the broad applications gamut achievable with the Sakuu 3D printing platform includes active components for several markets including healthcare, IoT, aerospace and defense.

“Although our first application is a solid-state battery, our technology potential extends way beyond energy storage and into a host of applications in an array of industry sectors,” says Robert Bagheri Founder, CEO and Chairman, Sakuu Corporation.

About Sakuu Corporation
Formerly KeraCel Inc, Sakuu is an industrial solutions provider that has developed a major breakthrough in additive manufacturing (AM) technology to address the approximately $800 billion digital manufacturing transformation. The company’s flagship Sakuu AM platform will be the world’s first multi-material, multi-process additive manufacturing platform for high volume production and is engineered to provide a significant market advantage to the company’s customers.

KeraCel Inc. Announces Completion of $14M Series A Funding Round

Sunday, January 24, 2021 PRWeb

KeraCel, the leading innovator in multi-material multi-method (4M) additive manufacturing (AM) that will lead the digital transformation of manufacturing, today announced it has completed a $14M Series A round of financing. Musashi Seimitsu Industry Co., Ltd. led the investment round with the participation from existing and new investors such as Candou Ventures. The investment will help the company to rapidly grow its engineering and product teams, complete its proof-of-concept AM platform, and complete development of its strategic partners applications that will use the platform as a manufacturing base.

“I am very grateful for the continuing support we received from our existing investors and very excited to welcome our new investors, underscoring the confidence in the progress we’ve made in validating our innovative and disruptive technologies. We will be deploying this technology to advance the digital manufacturing transformation in some of the world’s largest addressable markets giving our customers a shocking competitive advantage”, said Robert Bagheri, KeraCel chairman and chief executive officer.

“Musashi sees KeraCel as a leading company in Additive Manufacturing,” said Hiroshi Otsuka, President and CEO of Musashi Seimitsu Industry Co. Ltd. “Musashi is impressed by KeraCel’s unique technology that has the potential to create synergy with Musashi’s energy solutions business.”

Over the last year KeraCel has made tremendous progress in the development of its platform and the advanced products that it can manufacture with its partners. KeraCel was able to overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic in 2020 while still delivering its development commitments to its partners.

About KeraCel
KeraCel is an industrial technology company that has developed major breakthroughs in AM platform technology to address the $767B digital manufacturing transformation, has developed the world’s first multi-material and multi-method 3D printing platform for high volume production. KeraCel’s AM platform is enabling its customers to build complex active devices, such as solid-state battery, micro-fluidic devices, sensors and many other products, while reducing manufacturing complexities, simplifying the supply chain, increasing volume production and significantly reducing overall manufacturing costs. KeraCel’s AM platform innovatively combines three major core competencies; advanced materials, additive manufacturing, and unique product design, that provides a significant market advantage to its customers.

About Musashi
Musashi Seimitsu Industry Co., Ltd. is a global auto parts Tier1 company for automobiles and motorcycles, whose headquarters is located in Toyohashi, Japan. It has 35 manufacturing sites spreading across Europe, North and South America, China, and South East Asia. Musashi specializes in designing, developing and manufacturing products such as Differential Assemblies, Transmission Gears and Assemblies, and Linkage and Suspension (L&S) products especially for the future automobiles including electric and autonomous vehicles. Musashi is also generating and expanding new businesses through open innovation with global startups to contribute to the SDGs in wider business domains. MusashiAI, a leading-edge AI technology subsidiary to lead Industry 4.0, is one of the examples.

Bolt Mobility launching into 48 new markets after snapping up Last Mile’s assets

Kirsten Korosec@kirstenkorosec / 12:02 PM PST•January 19, 2021

Bolt Scooters

Bolt Mobility, the Miami-based micromobility startup co-founded by Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, is expanding to 48 new markets after acquiring the assets of Last Mile Holdings.

Bolt Mobility’s rise and Last Mile’s demise captures the uncertainty that plagued micromobility companies in the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic upended business models that were, in some cases, already on shaky ground.

Bolt Mobility and Last Mile were both negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bolt Mobility, for instance, had to shut down in several markets in early 2020 due to the pandemic. The company rebounded after it tweaked its business model and began to partner with local operators, added GM’s former VP global design Ed Welburn as an adviser and came out with a new scooter equipped with dual brakes, 10-inch wheels, LED lights, swappable batteries with 25 miles of range and NanoSeptic surfaces on its handlebars and brake levers designed to rid these common contact points of germs and bacteria.

Last Mile Holdings didn’t fare as well.

Gotcha Powered By Bolt
Image Credits: Bolt Mobility

If Last Mile Holdings doesn’t sound familiar, the brands it once owned might. Last Mile was a holding company that owned the OjO Electric scooters and Gotcha Mobility, which had a portfolio of electric trikes, scooters and bikes. The company acquired Gotcha in a $12 million cash and stock deal that closed in March 2020.

As Bolt Mobility grew, with its customer base hitting 300,000 users in 2020, Last Mile hit headwinds. Last Mile Holdings, which traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under MILE, ended up selling its U.S. assets in an auction. Bolt Mobility acquired substantially all of the assets of the company for a credit bid of $3 million, according to a filing at the end of the year.

Those assets include 8,500 new devices, including e-scooters, e-bikes, pedal bikes and sit-down cruisers and licenses to operate in 48 new markets, the majority of which (more than 30) are exclusive contracts, according to Bolt CEO Ignacio Tzoumas. The 48 new markets include 18 university campuses.

“The acquisition represents a significant expansion for Bolt on all fronts,” Tzoumas said, adding that the company brought on former Gotcha Chief Operating Officer Matt Tolan, who will now serve as Bolt’s chief commercial officer, as well as about 20 team members who were formerly a part of Gotcha’s tech and operations teams.

Riders in Bolt’s new markets will continue to be able to access and use the e-scooters, e-bikes and pedal bikes through the Gotcha Mobility and Ojo Electric iOS and Android mobile apps. Bolt is working with cities and universities to transition these markets to Bolt’s platform. The acquisition adds e-bikes to the Bolt platform for the first time. Although, the company was already developing its own line of e-bikes that it plans to launch later this year.

Bolt credits its new business model for helping it survive and even thrive in 2020. Instead of continuing to handle the complex and expensive task of fleet management and operations, Bolt decided to partner with local companies. These partners operate Bolt’s fleets on the ground in each individual market. This customizable approach allowed for a business partnership model in select markets where Bolt leased scooters to delivery workers, restaurants and other small businesses, the company said. 

By July, Bolt and its partners were operating in five new or re-launched markets. Bolt also has a backlog of agreements with partners for an additional 20 markets that the acquisition is primed to fulfill, according to the company. 

Tzoumas said Bolt was able to execute the deal without taking on any additional debt, and “under terms that will allow us to continue devoting our resources to expanding and improving our services in all of the markets where we operate.” The acquisition was funded in part by Fuel Venture Capital, an existing Bolt investor.  Bolt is also backed by Sofreh Capital and The Yucaipa Companies.

“We founded Bolt because we believe in micromobility as a movement that can transform the way people live and move within their communities,” Usain Bolt said in a statement. “This expansion proves that anything is possible for micromobility when you support it with talented people, innovative technology, and the incredible work ethic of the Bolt team.”