Chicago startup EduLender raises $1M

By Wailin Wong
Posted March 9 at 9:55 a.m.

Chicago-based startup EduLender, a comparison shopping website for student loans, said Tuesday it has raised $1 million in seed funding.

The group of investors includes Hyde Park Angels, an early-stage investment group with its roots in the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, as well as other local groups such as Sandbox Ventures and New World Ventures, whose founder is J.B. Pritzker. Kapor Capital, which is based in San Francisco, Calif., is also an investor. Other participants in the funding round include Excelerate, a Chicago-based incubator, and Sam Yagan, a co-founder of Excelerate who also helped found dating site OKCupid.

EduLender is the latest graduate of Excelerate’s incubator program to get funding. EduLender was one of 10 companies selected for Excelerate’s inaugural class last year. The program awards funding to start-ups and provides them with mentorship from experienced investors and entrepreneurs. Earlier this month, another Excelerate alumnus, Chicago-based GiveForward, announced it raised $500,000 in its first round of funding.

EduLender launched in 2010 and, in addition to its loan search engine, provides other online tools to help students and their families through the financial aid process. On Thursday, the company said it has launched a service called OnePay, which helps students consolidate their existing federal student loans.

The new funding will go toward developing new products, EduLender said.

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