Ahmedabad-based EduFund Helps Financial Planning for Higher Education
Eela Dubey began building her company’s thesis by asking a simple question – a question that had been asked a million times before:
“Education can and should be a universal right. If we want to focus on global change, it is by educating our future generations. Why should a price tag prevent this? “
As someone who had to do it once dropping out of a master’s program at Columbia University because she couldn’t afford the tuition, Eela realized there must be more in a similar boat. Building on her Wall Street background as a financier, and merging it with something that gave her purpose, she founded– a startup that helps parents and children plan for higher education and instill the importance of saving and investing.
Education funds are a relatively new concept in India. Most Indian households tend to set aside a fixed sum, usually in the form of a fixed deposit, for their children – but these are not well-planned savings. These are mostly arbitrary amounts, deposited in the fund multiple times and invested in instruments that tend to attract nominal interest rates.
Eela wanted to change that, especially after realizing the impact education could have in the real world, thanks to the time she spent working with children in Dharavi, Mumbai, and SAMPARC, an NGO.
The startup, created in 2020 by Eela and Arindam Sengupta in February, has so far raised Rs 2.5 crore as part of a pre-seed investment cycle led by View Trade Holding Corp.
Make smarter educational choices
Quality higher education in India and the world is enough expensive, costing anywhere between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, per year. For more middle-class Indian households, the price dictates access to higher education out of reach.
In addition to school fees, other expenses such as food, accommodation, transportation, groceries, etc., also add to the financial burden that parents often have to bear.
“Today, the main obstacle facing Indian parents is funding higher education for their children. Indian children are not lacking in skills. On the contrary, they lack financial resources. It was a struggle that resonated with me personally, ”says Eela. Your story.
EduFund solves this problem by helping parents plan for these expenses in advance. Parents can use the platform to create a concrete roadmap what their child’s higher education expenses might look like; obtain information on other failures, such as cost of living, inflation, exchange rate fluctuations, etc. that could have an impact on their overall expenses; and what investment instruments – mutual funds, ETFs, insurance policies, bonds, etc. – they could call on them to help them increase their wealth.
“Our college calculator arms parents with cost knowledge. We then help parents understand which investments best match their goals to reach that savings goal, ”says Eela.
The investment recommendations made by the EduFund app are supported by in-depth research and data, she adds.
The second service provided by startup is advice – an important part of preparation for higher education, in particular for colleges abroad.
By leveraging EduFund’s partner network including top educational advisors and exam preparation companies, students can achieve a holistic approach understanding the right flow for them, their perspectives in these educational streams, best universities that provide quality education, admission process, applications and tests they may have to come in.
This not only helps the child to plan their own educational future, but also gives parents more visibility in terms of finances.
“Education is a definite event – if you have a child, there is a high probability that it will happen, and it will happen at a specific time. My vision for EduFund is to make a companion for parents who helps them along their child’s higher education planning journey – funding and guidance, ”says Eela.
The Ahmedabad-based startup said its app had seen around 6,500 downloads, to date, and more than 1,500 registered users use the platform to interact with advisors. The company has entered into agreements with several education consultants such as OnCourse Global, Zsoldos Coaching, Reva Education Consultant and Overseas Education Consultancy.
Its biggest competitors include banks, which offer recurring deposit services that allow depositors to save for a specified purpose of their choosing, which they can then use to invest in the instruments of their choice, and ‘other services that offer savings and regular investments. In the field of startups, EduFund has created a niche for itself, where it does not compete with too many others, especially when it comes to offering financial planning specific to education, including calculating overall tuition fees, cost of living, etc. and consultancy services.
Education planning and financing industry (including counseling, immigration, testing, etc.) worth approximately $ 28 billion, is growing at a CAGR of up to 20 percent.
With 250 million children in school – more than any other country – along with moderate to high enrollment rates, blurring of geographic boundaries and easier access to lending instruments for finance, the education services sector is expected to experience a boom. substantial growth in the years to come. years.