Zenda Funding: Tuition Payment Startup Zenda Raises $9.4M

Bengaluru: Fintech startup Zenda (formerly Nexopay) has raised $9.4m in a seed funding round from Saudi Arabia-based venture capital fund STV, seed fund Cotu Ventures, Global Founders Capital and VentureSouq.

The startup plans to use the funds for product development and market expansion in India.

Zenda was founded in June 2021 by McKinsey & Company alumni Raman Thiagarajan and Haseeb Ahmed. Thiagarajan and Ahmed previously founded edtech startup Nexsquare in Dubai.

After its launch in the United Arab Emirates, Zenda began its operations in India in 2021. It currently has more than 40 employees, including around 30 in India, operating from Bengaluru, Kochi and Delhi.

The fintech startup helps families pay school fees with pay-immediate and pay-later options, and unlocks rewards points for paying on time.

“Most of the funds will be used to develop our markets in India and the United Arab Emirates and may start moving to an even newer market by the end of the year…most team members are based in India, we are also rapidly strengthening our team,” Zenda co-founder Thiagarajan told ET.

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The startup said it processed fee payments of $70 billion a year to private education institutions in India, $37 billion to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and $34 billion in the rest of the Middle -East and Africa. “The market is large but largely untapped,” the startup said in a statement.

“Fee payment in schools (nursery, K12 and tertiary) is considerably non-digital, and even digital, cumbersome, manual and expensive,” Thiagarajan said. “Our focus is on helping families manage their money and enabling their financial well-being and we will be looking at more products that enable this,” he added.

In addition, the majority of families earn monthly income, but fee payments are usually quarterly or half-yearly, causing cash flow problems for parents and collection delays for schools, he added.

Zenda competes with apps such as US-based Zaiper.

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