Nigerian edtech startup AltSchool Africa will receive funding from the Rwandan government to help its next phase.
AltSchool Africa, the Nigerian edtech startup that styles itself as the African version of the US coding bootcamp BloomTech, will receive strategic assistance from Intellecap, an Asia and Africa-focused advisory. The program, fully paid for by the Rwandan Innovation Fund, will help AltSchool plan for its next growth phase, TechCabal learned.
In April 2023, AltSchool raised $3 million, and Angaza Capital, a VC firm that co-manages the Rwandan Innovation Fund, participated in that round, data from Pitchbook shows. This investment has previously not been reported. Adewale Yusuf, Altschol’s CEO, confirmed that his startup received funding from the innovation fund earlier but declined to share any figures.
The Rwandan Innovation Fund was established in 2021 with a $30 million loan from the African Development Bank as part of the country’s push to position itself as a technology hub in Africa. “The Rwandan government has been super helpful to our success since we entered the market, and we’re grateful for their support,” said Yusuf in a LinkedIn post.
AltSchool opened a Rwandan office at the Norrsken hub last year, one of the first in a line of African companies being wooed by Rwanda; it has four staff in the country and is currently hiring for more roles, Yusuf told TechCabal. Flutterwave set up an East African settlement hub earlier in the year, while Paystack also confirmed expansion plans in Rwanda. More companies will follow.
Besides the original $30 million AfDB loan, the Rwandan Innovation Fund wants to attract a further $30 million in commitments from private investors, with the government chipping $8.6 million. The fund invests across Africa with a target to back 150 tech-enabled companies, ten incubators, and accelerators, as well as 20 early-stage growth opportunities. So far, the Fund has deployed $6.6 million in 11 startups across East Africa.
AltSchool and its online offering
AltSchool offers online-only learning. Unlike BloomTech, its extensive curriculum covers business, data, engineering, media, and the creative economy. It also charges $20-$50 monthly for the duration of those courses and also operates the income-sharing agreement (ISA) model common with online edtech startups like ALX. To make this work, the firm works to connect learners to internships. ultimately trying to ensure that they land jobs.
So far, AltSchool has supported about 20,000 learners across eight African countries. The startup has been committed to providing young Africans with the knowledge and skills to build sustainable careers within and outside the tech ecosystem. Across Africa, youth unemployment has been a persistent problem, with only about 3 million out of 10 million youth who enter the labour force being able to secure employment or earn sufficient income for their livelihoods. With edtechs like AltSchool, young people can pick up skills that are in global demand.
It was AltSchool’s second funding round after it announced $1 million in pre-seed funding from VCs and angel investors in 2022. Voltron Capital and Obda VC were some of the VCs in the round, while Paystack’s Sola Akinlade and Folarin “Falz” Falana, a Nigerian musician, also participated.