ESCALA Educación has closed a seed round.
The Colombia-based startup partners with businesses and universities to help low- and middle-income workers build education savings plans.
Employees have a portion of their paychecks automatically diverted into ESCALA’s plans, and employers pledge to match a share of the contributions.
“In Colombia, nearly half of the students who start college drop out, and a majority of those students leave for financial reasons,” said Michael Schlein, president and CEO of Accion, whose Accion Venture Lab invested in ESCALA.
Mountain Nazca Colombia, Invictum Capital, and several Colombian angel investors also joined the round. Other startups are experimenting with similar ways to make higher ed more accessible.
U.S.-based Guild Education recently raised $21 million to help companies develop tuition assistance programs for wage workers.