Zenda, a UAE-based fintech app for families has announced it has secured $9.4 million in an oversubscribed seed round with participation from STV, COTU, Global Founders Capital, and VentureSouq.
“The startup plans to use the raised funds for product development and market expansion in India,” the statement said
Zenda was founded in June 2021 by Raman Thiagarajan and Haseeb Ahmed, alumni of McKinsey & Company, where Raman led the Firm’s Financial Services Practice in the MENA region.
Speaking on the funding round, Raman Thiagarajan, CEO & Founder of Zenda 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 with no convenient option to pay later. Since our launch, feedback from the market and especially from our users has been terrific.”
“Over the past months in India, we have built a pipeline of more than 1000+ institutions and are immensely grateful for their trust. It is gratifying to see the response from parents and see 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 to have such a passionate group with us on this journey,” he added.
After its initial launch in UAE, Zenda initiated India entry and operations in Q3 2021; Zenda witnessed strong market traction with schools and with families. It has grown its user base 20X since June 2021 and crossed the $100M+ in annual contracted TPV volume by Q4 2021, across both markets. With more than 40 team members now and 2/3rds in India, the team has scaled rapidly, operating out of Bangalore, Kochi, Delhi, and Dubai. zenda’s success is also attributable to the team’s expertise and deep insights into how educational institutions operate, from their earlier venture.
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 funding, 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. India and the GCC are a USD 100+ billion market for private education fees. They have built an outstanding team and we look forward to working with them in helping Zenda achieve its mission.”