Student Loan Firm Candidly Raises $20.5M in Financing

Candidly’s student debt and savings service for employers and retirement recordkeepers has brought in Series B financing led by investment firm Altos Ventures.

Candidly announced it raised $20.5M in a Series B round of financing, with investors led by Altos Ventures Management Inc. and including follow-on participation from Cercano Management LLC.

A student debt and savings optimization platform, Candidly partners with employers, retirement recordkeepers and financial services companies to embed its technology in the partner’s own digital experience. The platform allows users to pay down their debt faster and more cost-effectively.  

 The news of Candidly’s funding comes as significant policy shifts impact the student loan landscape. The Supreme Court is considering the legal status of a moratorium on student loan payments that was initiated by President Donald Trump in 2020 and has been extended multiple times by President Joe Biden. In addition, the Secure 2.0 Act of 2022 includes provisions to help families manage their student loan debt burden. 

Candidly’s Series B financing follows a year of record growth, according to the company. Payments flowing through the platform increased by 3,600%, and the company’s revenue grew by 10-fold.  

“Our Series B round of financing places us in a unique position of opportunity and responsibility, empowering the largest financial services companies in the world to engage and transform the financial wellness and retirement readiness of those who believe that education—past, present, and future—is part of their path to prosperity,” said Laurel Taylor, founder and CEO of Candidly, in a statement. 

“Our team at Altos shares Candidly’s vision to empower people to tackle student debt and build financial security,” said Anthony Lee, managing director at Altos Ventures, in a statement. The Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm makes initial investments in early-stage companies tackling emerging consumer and enterprise opportunities.  

In 2022, Candidly added prominent distribution partners such as Guild, Empower, Lincoln Financial Group and Vanguard. Those companies joined existing partners such as UBS and Fiserv. The company claims it is on track to serve one in five full-time, part-time and gig workers in the U.S.  

Candidly said it has worked to accommodate recent policies that have impacted student loans. In preparation for Congress passing Secure 2.0, the company developed a full suite of Secure 2.0 solutions, which offer several integration and branding options. One of the offered products is a public service loan forgiveness tool, which allows borrowers to access important federal student debt relief programs.