Based in Singapore, ErudiFi is keen to help more Southeast Asian students stay in school by providing them with affordable financing options. The startup announced today that it has raised a $ 5 million Series A, co-led by Monk’s Hill Ventures and Qualgro.
ErudiFi is currently working with over 50 universities and vocational schools in Indonesia and the Philippines. Co-founder and CEO Naga Tan told TechCrunch that students in these countries have limited funding options and often rely on friends or family, or informal payday lenders who charge high interest rates.
To provide more accessible financing options, ErudiFi is partnering with accredited universities and schools to offer subsidized installment plans, using technology to scale up while lowering costs. Interest rates and repayment terms vary from institution to institution, but can be as low as 0%, with loans payable in 12-24 months.
By providing their students with affordable funding plans, ErudiFi can increase retention rates in schools, helping them retain students who would otherwise be forced to drop out due to financial issues.
Tan said that ErudiFi’s value proposition for educational institutions is “to be able to offer a data-driven funding solution that helps in the recruitment and retention of students.” Students also benefit greatly, as our product is one of the few, if not the only, affordable financing option available to them. “
In a press release, Peng T. Ong, co-founder and managing partner of Monk’s Hill Ventures, said: “Access to affordable higher education remains a huge problem in Southeast Asia where the cost is almost the double the average GDP per capita. ErudiFi is tackling an underserved market that is plagued by high interest rates from traditional financial institutions and limited reach from peer-to-peer lending companies.
ErudiFi’s Series A will be used to recruit its product and engineering teams and to expand into Indonesia and the Philippines.