Waterloo EDC Blog

The ApplyBoard team

ApplyBoard secures $100M raise and 'unicorn' valuation

Posted by Waterloo EDC on May 5, 2020

We could all use some good news. Lucky for us, ApplyBoard has some.

ApplyBoard, the online platform that transforms how students access international education opportunities, has announced $100 million in Series C funding on a $2 billion valuation.

With this round of funding, ApplyBoard plans to invest in its technology, partner with educational institutions in new destination countries and serve a broader diversity of students and recruitment partners globally. The company offers an AI-enabled recruitment platform that helps international students apply to post-secondary programs in North America, and works with over 1,200 educational institutions and 4,000 recruitment partners. To date, ApplyBoard has assisted over 100,000 students with their educational journey.New call-to-action

“Education has the power to change lives, but the process of applying to study abroad remains incredibly difficult for many students,” said Martin Basiri, the company’s Co-Founder and CEO. “Accelerated by recent events, it’s vital we fuel innovation that supports the future success of the education sector. We are committed to advancing our work with students, educational institutions and recruitment partners to improve lives through education.”

This announcement is an exclamation point on an incredible year for the company. Just a couple of months ago they landed on the Narwhal List, which identifies tech companies with the highest potential to become a “unicorn” (a private company with a $1+ billion valuation with the potential to go public). In November, ApplyBoard earned the title “Canada’s fastest growing tech company” on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 list and in May 2019 they announced $55 million in Series B funding. The company had previously raised $17 million in Series A. Founded in 2015, they now have 400+ employees.

Located in the city of Kitchener, ApplyBoard is just one of the scaling successes in Waterloo Region. The top three companies on the Deloitte Fast 50 were from Waterloo (ApplyBoard, Intellijoint Surgical and Auvik Networks), along with another two local companies ( and Vidyard). Three additional Waterloo area companies were on the Narwhal List, too. This is on top of Google’s significant planned local expansion.

Why is Waterloo’s tech community taking off?

We have a higher tech talent density than any of America’s top 10 tech labour pools, exceptional computer science graduate quality and quantity, good access to venture capital, a world-class startup community and research output that outpaces much larger communities like Seattle, Dallas and Salt Lake City. You don’t have to take our word for it – check out these charts. We’re also part of the second largest technology cluster in North America and we’re home to Canada’s top technology university.


Update: In June 2021, ApplyBoard announced a $375 million raise and a $4 billion valuation.


Do you want to learn more about the companies that make up Waterloo's dynamic tech ecosystem? Download our Artificial Intelligence ecosystem map - a full list of Waterloo-based companies working in AI - here. 

Topics: technology, talent, expansion stories