Edukoya, an African-focused online learning platform that empowers learners and their parents to access high-quality education, has raised $3.5 million in a pre-seed round led by Target Global.
Participating in the round are angel investors like Shola Akinlade, co-founder/CEO of Paystack, Babs Ogundeyi and Musty Mustapha, co-founders of Kuda, Brandon Krieg and Ed Robinson, co-founders of Stash and Raffael Johnen, CEO of Aux Money—among others.
Founded in May but launched into beta in December this year by former Google Nigeria boss, Honey Ogundeyi, Edukoya says it wants to empower learners and their parents to take control of their learning and make it easier for them to access high-quality learning material and expert help.
Specifically, the platform is built to target Nigerian secondary school learners. At least that’s its current proposition. Edukoya includes 24/7 exam preparation & homework tutor help, a data-driven question bank with step-by-step solutions and personalised performance tracking systems.
Public education in Nigeria is not great; there are too many factors warring against it, from low funding to incompetent teachers to bad government policy. So, quality education is only available to a small proportion of Nigerians.
The seven-month-old startup says it offers a free, supplementary learning platform, as well as subscription packages with premium features, focused on K-12 learning and exam preparation. This offering combination is expected to reduce the uneven distribution of quality education. The platform operates a 100% online model, which promotes self-paced learning that allows learners to save time and money.
“Our vision at Edukoya is to redefine online education for the next generation of Africans. Africa has the fastest-growing school-age population globally, with over 260 million students and counting,” Ogundeyi, who was also the founding CMO of Kuda Bank, said while speaking on the new investment. “Our goal is to democratise access and make high-quality instruction and content accessible and affordable to every student, regardless of where he or she lives on the continent.”
Lina Chong, Investment Director at Target Global, said they [Target Global] are delighted to lead this investment and partner with Ogundeyi and her impressive team of education technology pioneers. “Edukoya’s mission to provide better quality to millions of African students, combined with the team’s ability to execute on this ambition, left an immediate impression on myself and the whole team at Target Global. Their business has the potential to unlock learner potential and improve lives across generations’.”
This funding is the biggest pre-seed investment for African edtech and also the biggest investment raised by a Nigerian female single founder. The company plans to use the funds to go from beta to live launch in Nigeria by 2022. It will also accelerate its product and technology as well as expand its online curriculum content coverage and on-demand tutoring feature for secondary school learners.
Regarding funding, the African edtech scene was off to a slow start this year, but its pulse is finally picking up. Even though it’s a large market to serve, competition is getting stronger with the presence of platforms like uLesson that recently secured a $15m check to double-down on the same market segment Edukoya sets its eyes on.
However, it’s still too early to know who will emerge as industry leader, regardless of who launches first.