Student services business BeGo has secured an undisclosed investment from venture capital firm Midven.
Founded by Gaston Chee and Jennifer Leong, who met while studying at the University of Warwick, Coventry-based BeGo provides a platform which allow students to pre-arrange services before they arrive in the UK.
The business targets the some 150,000 international students that come to study at UK universities each year.
Midven has closed the deal through its Early Advantage fund, an £8 million allocation for investment in small, high growth businesses at start-up and early stage in the West Midlands. It’s last investment through the fund came back in August when it provided £105,000 to light-emitting diode business AccurIC.
Chee comments, ‘Unlike UK students, who arrive with everything they need from laptop computers to kettles and many home comforts, foreign students arrive with just one suitcase with their clothes.
‘They then face the arduous task of arranging everything from opening a bank account to selection a mobile phone to buying insurance.’
BeGo’s online portal will initially focus on students arriving from the Far East and will be written in the appropriate language of each country.
From an investment point of view, Chee says that students travelling from abroad come from wealthy backgrounds and would be in a position to purchase a wide range of products from the company, a situation which he says will see good growth for investors.
Giovanni Finocchio, investment manager with Midven’s Early Advantage fund, adds, ‘We liked the entrepreneurial flair of this young team from day one.
‘Their passion and desire to get the business up and running was evident. We knew that if we backed them, along with the additional skills and experience the private investors bring, this would become a quality business that will go on and thrive and create jobs in the region.’
Midven manages five funds representing £61 million under management across sectors including software, biotechnology, healthcare and manufacturing.