10 African Education Startups with Over $1M Funding

Digital learning has become a new normal since the pandemic. It brought a significant shift that made more people gravitate from physical to online instruction and learning, causing a boost to the EdTech industry. Since its inception, increasing funds have been directed towards this industry — from $7,651,100 across 26 deals in 2019 to $13,720,500 across 28 deals in 2020, and in 2021 over $12M was raised. This funding has brought significant growth and improvement for online education in Africa.

EdTech platforms act as supplements to traditional education, and in some cases, as a substitute. Its solutions respond better to the problems posed by conventional learning modes, including overcrowded classrooms, commuting accidents, convenience, and access to quality instructors and materials. Online platforms allow learners to learn at their pace and develop their passion with relevant and employable skill sets.

FYI: Types of Startup Funding

The difference between the funding rounds are often based on the investment amount, company valuation, and the stage of the venture. These are the significant types of funding:

10 EdTech Startups with Over $1M Funding

  1. African Leadership Academy

African Leadership Academy is a Mauritius-based startup committed to developing African leaders that can address African challenges, accelerate the continent’s growth trajectory and achieve significant social impact. The Academy has received total funding of $55,800,000, which was used to open new locations in Kenya and South Africa. Their latest round of funding was $30,800,000 Series B funding from Omidyar Network and Anders Holch Polvsen.

2. Bridge International Academy (BIA)

(BIA) is an academy in Kenya, a chain of nursery and primary schools. The Academy has received up to $27,800,000 in funding. The academy intends to educate underprivileged children based on the national curriculum. However, they went a little further to improve teaching and learning by providing the children with cutting-edge wireless technology at zero cost.

BIA has used the funding received to reach more schools and help more impoverished children across Africa.

3. Spark Schools

SPARK was founded in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2012 as a network of private and independent schools offering globally competitive education. Her latest round is an undisclosed amount in Series C funding in 2021 from Creadev, Finnfund, and Imaginable Futures. However, they have amassed over $11,700,000 in funding, which has been used to expand and improve its facilities.

4. uLesson

uLesson is a Nigerian EdTech startup founded in 2019 to reach secondary schools in Anglophone Africa. The startup received $3,100,000 Seed Funding in 2019 from TLcon Capital and $7,500,000 Series A funding in 2021 from Owl Ventures, TLcom Capital, Founder Collective, and LocalGlobe.

uLesson has used these funds to create comprehensive curricula and a network of tutors to leverage mobile phones as an education platform. They are also expanding into the East and South African markets.

5. Valenture Institute

It is a global private online education platform creating high school curricula recognized by leading universities worldwide. It was founded in 2019 and is currently operational in South Africa. The institute received $7M in Series A funding from GSV Ventures, which was used to establish campuses that combine online learning, learning coaches, and peer engagement in South Africa.

6. Enko Education

This Edtech startup is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, as an Africa-wide network of international secondary schools in Africa offering a launchpad to the best universities in the world. The startup raised $4,700,000 in total seed funding, and its latest funding was $1.4M Pre-series B funding in 2019 from a pool of private and institutional investors. Enko Education is looking to expand its horizon.

7. The Student Hub,

The Student Hub has existed since 2015 as an intelligent education company with its headquarters in South Africa. The startup is committed to creating a learner-centric education system where each student is equipped to discover their purpose. So far, it has raised $3,200,200, which is used for digitizing the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) course to present personalized content to learners on its 100% online distance learning model. It also has crowdfunding tools to assist students in financing their studies.

8. Edukoya

Edukoya is committed to empowering learners and parents to take control of their learning and make it easy to access high-quality learning material and expert help. The startup was founded in May 2021 by Honey Ogundeyi, former Google Nigeria boss.

Edukoya secured significant funding in 2021, a pre-seed fund of $3.5 million led by Target Global. Other participants in the round were angel investors like Shola Akinlade, co-founder/CEO of Paystack, Babs Ogundeyi, and Musty Mustapha, co-founders of Kuda.

9. Kukua

Kukua exists in Kenya as a platform leveraging new media and technology to empower children to learn through sensory-engaging experiences. The startup raised $2,510,000 in total funding in 2018 from EchoVC Partners, Kima Ventures, Founders Factory, Burda Principal Investments, and First Minute Capital. She also recently raised $6M led by Achemia and Tencent. Kukua intends to use the funding to address child illiteracy on the continent by using game-based educational apps like Super Sema to engage children and make learning attractive.

10. Snapplify

Snapplify is a media and technology company specializing in retail and digital content distribution to individuals and institutions. The platform has prescribed e-books, videos, audiobooks, and apps to over 270 partners/publishers. The startup caters to more than 1400 institutes in Cape Town and South Africa. It has raised $2,000,000 in Series B funding from Knife Capital and Hlayisani Capital, which is being used to enable the company to gain more customers and increase its market footprints by refining its customer-led product features.

Conclusion

The EdTech industry is snowballing because of how poorly traditional education has performed, proving that the future of education is not within the four walls of a physical building. Hence, investors and VCs are looking to invest in promising ideas that will drive the future of education.

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