GOMYCODE, a Tunisian edtech startup, announced today that it has raised $8 million in a series A round. The round was co-led by AfricInvest, through its Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund (CAIF) and Proparco, a French-based development finance institution, with follow-on participation from existing investor, Wamda Capital.
This fresh fund injection brings the startup’s total investment raised to $8.85 million, having raised a seed of $850,000 in October 2020..
The edtech startup was founded in 2017 by 24-year-old Yahya Bouhlel (CEO) to initially solve a deficit in skilled engineers in Tunisia—a problem his elder brother Amine Bouhlel was facing at the time, having just moved back to Tunisia from France to open a subsidiary for a French tech startup, and needing to hire local developers.
Yahya, 19 at the time, had been coding since his early teens and had interned at several American companies building mobile apps and iPhone games, told TechCrunch in an interview that the idea to solve Amine’s developer deficit came to him when he had just graduated from high school.
“So the idea of building a school or a learning experience with the spirit of Silicon Valley came, and we started GOMYCODE as a summer project and camp and grew that year,” Yahya said in the interview.
The company employs a hybrid model of teaching coding: students spend half of their time learning online and the other half at one of GOMYCODE’s network of 20 physical centres. According to the CEO, the company is diversified and accommodates local context; it has over 500 local teachers in every country teaching in over 12 languages.
Students on the platform go through two types of programmes. One section is composed of skills-driven introductory courses that take up to 3 months and cost an average of $250. The other section involves 5-month-long career-driven studies with an average price of $750.
GOMYCODE says it also makes money by working with business clients that use a study-now-pay-later plan for their employees. Per TechCrunch, this model makes up just 10% of GOMYCODE’s revenues. The company’s overall revenue is reported to have grown 3 times each year since inception.
The company said that it’s in partnership with a couple of institutions to provide placement for its students, and have successfully placed 80% of its students through a job-placement program.
Because the problem of unskilled and underskilled talent is a global one, the 5-year-old company was able to scale into other territories pretty quickly. The company is currently present in 8 countries: Tunisia, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Nigeria. The company hopes the new investment will deliver their expansion plan into 4 more countries—South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Saudi Arabia—while continuing to deepen its footprints in its existing markets.
The edtech platform has grown from 100 students in its first year to around 4,000 active students today and intends to reach 100,000 students and open 50 centres across Africa and the Middle East in the next 2 years.