zenda raises $9.4m for MENA school fees app

FinTech zenda has secured a $9.4 million seed round and unveiled an app to manage school fees in the MENA region.

The company was founded in June 2021 by Raman Thiagarajan and Haseeb Ahmed, alumni of McKinsey & Company, where Thiagarajan led the firm’s financial services practice in the MENA region.

Fee payments in schools are mostly non-digital, and even where digital, are “cumbersome, manual and expensive”, said the firm.

The majority of families earn monthly, but fee payments are usually demanded each term or bi-annually, resulting in “cash flow stress” for parents, and collection delays for schools, zenda added.

Using the app, families can track dues and make payments through a multitude of pay-now and pay-later options, and unlock rewards for paying on time. zenda integrates with schools through its proprietary data model and APIs, and aims to “eliminate” last mile reconciliation challenges and delays.

“In today’s digital world, we seek low friction and immediacy - why should that not be the case for school fees payments?" said chief executive Raman Thiagarajan. “Parents have embraced our service and zenda schools are witnessing a systematic increase in their collections.”

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