The Tech Portal - Singapore

To provide easily accessible tertiary education, edtech startup Cialfo secures pre-Series A

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Cialfo, a Singapore-based education technology startup has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A funding. The investment was led by Singapore-based Govin Capital, and Koh Boon Hwee (Former Chairman of Singtel, DBS Bank and Singapore Airlines) co-invested in the Startup.

A number of angels with significant experience in scaling high-growth businesses also participated. Funding will be used for product development, recruitment and expansion into high-priority growth markets China, India, and Southeast Asia.
Founded in 2012 by Rohan Pasari and Stanley Chia, Cialfo aims to make tertiary education more accessible to students. It does this by streamlining the U.S. and U.K. university application process with a unique combination of an online platform, together with expert mentoring.


With its Pre-Series A funding, Cialfo is now looking to expand its Asia footprint through software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform offering to education institutions and private college counsellors. Its solutions are available across web and mobile (iOS, Android).

Rohan Pasari, Co-founder and CEO of Cialfo, said,

Cialfo has seen remarkable growth the last four years; we now look to accelerate through strategic partnerships beyond Singapore and Southeast Asia. We will now reach more students, tapping into the multi-billion dollar a year opportunity of helping Asian students find their ideal university.


Cialfo’s innovative SaaS platform for education consultancies and high schools is helping every student to get their dream university. It is on a mission to make university applications simple, efficient, and accessible to every student. Its platform, available on web and mobile app, offers partnership in Singapore, India, China, and Southeast Asia to streamline their university admission process and enhance their online-to-offline strategy.

Anand Govindaluri, Founder and CEO of Govin Capital & Board Director, Cialfo, said,

Working with thousands of students in Singapore, and across Asia, Cialfo’s understanding of the pain points faced by educational institutes, consultancies, and students has enabled it to build innovative platforms and tools that are seeing rapid uptake within the education ecosystem. We observe an increasing trend in the number of Singaporeans and students in Asia for overseas ivy-league universities. 

Koh Boon Hwee said,

Cialfo’s vision to democratize university admissions is admirable. Every student deserves the best education they can get; it remains the single most important decision for a young person today. Cialfo is trying to use technology to help them secure that opportunity.


The annual market for Asian students enrolling into U.S. and U.K. universities is pegged at US$4 billion. That goes up to US$80 billion per year for global students enrolling into universities. According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), around 627,306 Asian students studied in the U.S. in 2014-15. Of these, 304,040 originated from China and 132,888 from India. The British Council estimates 493,570 international students are in U.K., as of 2013-14, of which 92,915 (18.8 per cent) and 21,000 (4.3 per cent) are from China and India respectively. Forty million students enter university every year; this is expected to double by 2025.

Ninety-seven per cent of Cialfo’s students got admission in top 50 U.S. universities and 54 per cent into the top 10; 91 per cent of Cialfo’s students got into the top 30 U.K. universities and 48 per cent into the top 5. Its acceptance rates have increased by 27 per cent compared to 2015, and 59 per cent compared to 2014.

In Singapore 100 per cent of its students now get places at their universities of choice. Cialfo works with some of the leading private college counsellors and high schools across Singapore, China, Vietnam, and India.

Calf also offers its own consulting services to help students successfully gain admission into their best-fit university in Singapore only. Whether it’s assistance around university essays or admissions interviews, their team of consultants assist at every step of the way. Its experienced mentors and advisors comprise graduates from leading institutions namely Harvard, U.Penn, Stanford, Northwestern among others.

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