School fee fintech app Zenda raises US$9.4mn in seed round

Fintech startup Zenda has raised US$9.4mn in a seed funding round, and plans to use the funds for product development and market expansion in India

Zenda, a UAE-based startup, has secured a US$9.4mn oversubscribed seed round. Among the investors that took part in the seed round were STV, COTU Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and VentureSouq.

Founded in June 2021 by Raman Thiagarajan and Haseeb Ahmed, zenda is a fintech app for families. It enables families to pay school fees with pay-now and pay-later options, unlocking rewards for paying on time. zenda integrates with schools through its proprietary data model and APIs (much like zapier) and eliminates last mile reconciliation challenges and delays.

After its initial launch in UAE, the company initiated India entry and operations in Q3 2021, has grown its user base 20x since June 2021 and crossed the US$100mn+ in annual contracted TPV volume by Q4 2021, across both markets.  

Providing customer-centric digital financial services

Using zenda, families can track and make payments through different pay-now and pay-later options, and unlock rewards for paying on time. 

CEO and founder of zenda, Raman Thiagarajan said: “In today’s digital world, we seek low friction and immediacy - why should that not be the case for fee payments? Part of the ecosystem still runs on cash or cheque with no convenient option to pay later. Since our launch, feedback from the market and especially from our users has been terrific – we are grateful & pumped with the response from parents and seeing how they have embraced our service. zenda schools are witnessing a systematic increase in their collections. We have a truly outstanding team and I feel privileged that such a passionate group is with us on this journey. We are excited and hopeful for the possibilities ahead – in providing customer-centric digital financial services to solve some of the simple yet important problems for families in our regions”

Creating a tailored banking experience 

zenda’s mission is to help families thrive. In the future, it aims to make it easier for families to manage money and to enable their financial wellness through tailored banking and financial experiences.

Commenting on the announcement, Ihsan Jawad, General Partner at STV said: “Raman, Haseeb and the team have identified a compelling gap in the market and in supporting families on a topic that is very important to them. Seeing their strong traction over the past several months, we couldn't be more excited about zenda. The UAE itself is a US$8bn market for private education fees and they are already well poised to capture leadership. They have built an outstanding team and we look forward to working with them in helping zenda achieve its mission.”



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