"We Got Funded!" Kuwait-Based Fintech Startup Ruba Raises Pre-Seed Funding Round To Boost Its Mission To Make Education Accessible Ruba enables parents to pay for their children's school tuition fees in easy instalments on a monthly basis at zero cost.
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Ruba, a Kuwait-based fintech startup with a mission to make education accessible, has raised an undisclosed amount in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round from a select number of strategic angel investors.
Founded in 2021 by Ameen Nadoom, Fawaz Al-Rashdan, and Menawer Al-Azmi, Ruba enables parents to pay for their children's school tuition fees in easy instalments on a monthly basis at zero cost. The startup currently partners with private nurseries, K-12 schools, universities, and other academic providers in Kuwait, and it also aims to expand across the MENA region soon.
According to co-founder and CEO Nadoom, Ruba initially started off as a smart directory to help parents make an educated decision about the best school for their child's future. Seeing the market's needs as well as feedback for their product, Nadoom says he and his team then decided to shift their startup's focus "by offering a Shariah-compliant enroll-now-pay-later (ENPL) solution for private schools and nurseries in the region."
Armed with experiences in careers ranging from management consulting, banking, telco, and retail in the GCC and North America, the co-founders were keen to tackle the challenges that parents encounter when faced with costly tuition fees over two or three installments every school year, which can result in cash flow issues and a lot of stress. With Ruba's fully digital platform however, parents can easily request for a breakdown of the lump sums into affordable monthly installments, and at the same time, eliminate reconciliation challenges and delays for educational institutions.
Having gone live with the platform earlier this September, Nadoom says the traction Ruba has witnessed so far has been tremendous. "We are grateful to all the educational institutions and parents who believed in us from the start," he says. "We aren't just any typical financing solution, but we are one focused on a social cause that will touch the lives of every household."
Nadoom is also confident about the platform's differentiating factors from competitors in the market. The platform provides a full digital onboarding process that is focused and dedicated to offering a financing solution, says Nadoom. The startup's presence in Kuwait is a bonus too. He adds, "Being GCC locals and having a very good understanding of the culture and the market overall [helps as well]."
The new infusion of capital will now be used to grow Ruba's team and further launch the digital solution and market it across the region. Besides that, in the coming months, the team plans to include more universities as early as next year and expand to the KSA market in early 2023. When asked for his advice for entrepreneurs seeking to raise funds like he did with Ruba, Nadoom advises, "Start early and budget in ample time, prioritize smart money, and listen and learn." And finally, he adds: "Never give up."