Nigerian edtech startup uLesson has raised $3.1 million in a seed funding round ahead of its market launch to address learning gaps across African continent.
The round was led by Africa-focused venture capital firm TLcom Capital. As part of the investment, Omobola Johnson and Ido Sum, partners at TLcom, will now join uLesson’s board.
Founded in 2019 by Sim Shagaya, who is also the founder of Nigerian e-commerce startup Konga and ad venture E-motion, uLesson aims to help African students to be the very best they can by providing a learning experience that is unprecedented in its richness, scope, interactivity and effectiveness. The startup integrates mobile platforms, SD cards, culture-specific curriculum and a network of tutors to bridge educational gaps for secondary school students in Nigeria and across African continent.
uLesson employs an individualistic approach to learning, applying simplified teaching methods designed to amplify each student’s learning ability. Curriculum on the uLesson’s program will include practice sets and tailored content around Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. The startup has already produced over 3,000 animated, personalized video learning modules, quizzes and tests that will be available on its app via subscription model early next year.
The startup has been in development phase and plans to launch in February 2020 in West African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Gambia.
Speaking about the company and on the investment it received, Sim Shagaya said,
“Education systems across Africa are in crisis and uLesson has been developed to radically shake-up the system and bring better access to high-quality curriculum-relevant educational content to learners across the continent.”
“As our population grows extremely rapidly, the current public and private approach to education investment is chasing a goal that is moving further away. We want to lower the entry point for access to education for young Africans, and technology is the only way this challenge will be met. With this in mind, today is not just an investment in uLesson – it’s an investment in Africa’s future.”
To bridge the learning gaps, uLesson will offer an app-based home education kit for students with an upfront yearly subscription price of around $70 and the option to pay as you go. The startup’s product pack will include a dongle, SD card, and a set of headphones to connect to the Android devices.
Commenting on its investment in the startup, Ido Sum, partners at TLcom, said,
“In Sim, we have an entrepreneur with an unrivalled track record in building technology products for Africa. His team is building solutions for a massive opportunity, and we strongly believe they are about to make a serious dent in the education market across the continent.”
Meanwhile, the company said that the new funds will be used to develop educational content and a product for the East African market.