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Fintech startup Jodo bags $15mn in a new funding

Jodo, a fintech startup focusing on payments for education, has raised $15 million in a new funding round led by the New York-based investment firm Tiger Global. 

The round also included participation from Jodo’s existing investors Elevation Capital and Matrix Partners India, from whom the company received $4 million in 2020. 

The company claimed to use the funds to expand its team and accelerate product innovation and sales.

Jodo, a company founded in 2020 by Atulya Bhat, Raghav Nagarajan, and Koustav Dey, offers a variety of specialised payment and lending products to make it simple and affordable for parents of students to pay fees. For educational institutions, it also makes fee collection hassle-free.

Jodo offers lending products through non-banking financial company (NBFC) partners to help students and their parents finance education. 

“There has been a resurgence of offline education and we are growing along with that. The last two years (post-Covid-19) have helped in digitising payments offline, and we have noticed that several education institutes are offering flexible payment options to parents. But it is hard to offer this flexibility (for these institutes) without the right solutions since reconciliations can be a nightmare,” Bhat said.

Currently, Jodo partners with approximately 700 educational institutions around the country, 40% of which are offline schools serving students in kindergarten to grade 12 (K–12). 

Since its inception, it has served over 100,000 students and handled fee payments totaling more than Rs 1,000 crore on its platform. 

With the latest funding, Jodo plans to extend its educational collaborations to 5,000 institutions over the next 18 months, including schools, colleges, and offline coaching centres, and assist 1.5 million students with their fee payments. 

Additionally, it looks to process fee payments between Rs 10,000–Rs 15,000 crore on its platform and expects to double its employees in the following 12–18 months.

Jodo plans to introduce newer products to manage payouts made by educational institutions and an education savings product for parents, in addition to offering payments, lending, and loyalty benefits around fee payments. 

According to Bhat, the company is also finding ways to help create a payment ecosystem for educational institutions and university campuses.

“Jodo is modernizing payments and credit for India’s education market by increasing convenience and affordability for parents and providing a better workflow for schools and institutions. We are very impressed with Jodo’s progress,” said Alex Cook, partner, Tiger Global. 

The company is also looking to apply for its own NBFC licence in the coming months. 

“We’re privileged to renew our partnership with Atulya, Koustav and Raghav. The enthusiasm with which their products have been adopted by schools and parents alike proves that not only are they solving a deep pain point, but that they are doing so through tech-first solutions that are intuitive to use,” said Mridul Arora, partner, Elevation Capital.

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