Meadow today announced a $3.5M seed round to build a modern student financial services platform for universities that combines billing, payments, and financial engagement into a streamlined and consumer-friendly experience for students.
The financing was led by Susa Ventures, with participation from prior backers Giant Ventures along with new investors AlleyCorp and Daniel Gulati’s Treble Capital. Leading angel investors also include Block Renovation co-founder Koda Wang; Monzo founder Tom Blomfield; Finix founder Richie Serna; and former Head of Product at Braintree and Head of Payments at Intuit Abhi Ranadive.
The number of students earning college degrees in the US has been declining for the past decade and financial barriers are the number one reason. These barriers go beyond the cost alone: for students and families, the financial experience is as complicated as it is expensive.
Students now juggle up to 20 different sources of funding, leading to confusion and frustration about what, when, and how to pay for college. Meanwhile, university student financial services offices need to manage nearly 1000 students per staff member on average, relying heavily on manual processes.
Problems faced by students create problems for universities. With student tuition and fees as a primary source of revenue, many universities are under significant financial stress and forced into punitive collection tactics to recover millions of late and unpaid balances each year.
Meadow tackles the dual complexities of the tuition payment process for students and accounts receivables for universities, starting by bringing greater price transparency at the moment of application.
Meadow’s first product, Meadow Price, helps universities meet federal compliance requirements, elevate financial clarity, and eliminate sticker shock by providing students with an easy way to get accurate and straightforward cost estimates that include any financial aid they are eligible to receive.
Since launching in Spring 2022, Meadow has grown to over a dozen college and university partners of all sizes, including UT Austin, American University, and Northern Arizona University. Meadow has already delivered personalized price estimates to more than 10,000 students nationwide. On average, students uncover a 30% discount from the sticker price listed on the university website to the net price estimated through Meadow.
“Without Meadow, students have no way of knowing how much they’re actually going to end up paying unless they’re willing to engage with us directly,” said Christy Miller, Director of Financial Aid at Wayland Baptist University. “Cost is the most important factor for students deciding if and where to enroll, so providing financial clarity from application through graduation is critical not only for us at Wayland, but also for the industry as a whole.”
Meadow CEO and co-founder Alfredo I. Brillembourg commented: “Higher education is the number one pathway to economic mobility in America. But with limited access to planning and financial resources and the need to juggle loans, billing, paper trails, payments, third-parties, and support, the finances of education can overshadow the learning itself. Universities need to worry about recouping money and students are hurt in the process. We founded Meadow to help everyone focus on what’s important: the education.”
Meadow powers modern student financial services for universities that clarify and simplify the financial experience for students to improve economic mobility in the US through higher education.
At a time when consumer-friendly, digital-first experiences are more critical than ever in higher education, Meadow is solving many of the fundamental problems that lead to poor student financial experiences and administrative waste — radically transforming the higher education financial experience for everyone. Meadow’s mission is to empower students financially and improve economic mobility through higher education. Through Meadow, universities and their students manage the end-to-end financial experience together, from application to graduation.
The company was founded in 2021 by recent graduates from Columbia University as well as second-time founders who have worked at AmEx, Klarna, Outschool and Amazon.