Fintech startup EduFi secures $6.1M

Education plays a crucial role in the economic growth and social development of any country. However, challenges in state school provision often lead families to opt for fee-paying schools. Addressing the financial strain this causes, EduFi has announced a $6.1M funding round for its 'Study Now, Pay Later' lending platform, launching in Pakistan where 40% of students attend fee-paying schools, contributing to an annual education expenditure of over $14 billion.

The pre-seed funding round, led by Zayn VC and including contributions from Palm Drive Capital, Deem Ventures Ltd, Q Business, Abhi, AdalFi, Techlogix, and other angel investors, will bolster EduFi's mission. The platform, a fintech solution and mobile app, enables students to secure loans for school fees, collaborating with liquidity providers and schools to facilitate these loans. EduFi's platform is distinguished by its education-focused credit scoring model, utilising advanced machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence.

Aleena Nadeem, Founder & CEO of EduFi, remarked: “We conceived and built this product to serve markets with low credit penetration. Pakistan is an ideal launch location due to its significant need and our first-mover advantage. The absence of student loans from banks, reliance on high-cost personal loans, and limited credit access due to lack of credit scoring have restricted opportunities. Our goal is to broaden the credit and student loan opportunity to more students across Pakistan. We believe student loans can address poverty and literacy challenges and catalyse economic growth.”

EduFi's comprehensive tech stack offers transparency for capital performance and allows schools to track student performance metrics. The EduFi App enhances user experience, enabling quick and easy access to student loans. This technology enables rapid loan dispersion within 48 hours of application, offering a more efficient process than traditional lenders.

Founded in 2021 and based in Singapore, EduFi, led by Aleena Nadeem, leverages a team with extensive experience in banking, education, and technology. The platform's design, rooted in cultural, social, and economic research, aims to be intuitive, transparent, and secure for users.

EduFi envisions itself as more than a platform; it aims to be a community for students aspiring to realise their potential. Partnering with 15 colleges, it now reaches over 200,000 students in Pakistan for school fee payments.

Nadeem added: “Education is transformative. EduFi embodies this transformation and aims to relieve the financial burden on aspiring families. For instance, students in expensive programs like dental or medical schools can benefit significantly from our services.”

A Unesco report highlights that Pakistani families spend 57% of their income on children's education, totalling $14 billion annually. Pakistan ranks high in education expenditure in South Asia and Southeast Asia, presenting a substantial opportunity for EduFi's growth.

Faisal Aftab, General Partner & Founder at Zayn VC, stated: “We are excited to support Aleena's vision for EduFi, which provides essential financing options for families' higher education needs. With families spending a significant portion of their income on education, compounded by inflationary pressures, EduFi's approach will help alleviate this burden and enable families to invest in their children's futures.”