Nigerian edtech startup, uLesson has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Owl Ventures, together with participation from existing investors, TLcom Capital and Founder Collective as well as new investor, LocalGlobe.
This brings uLesson’s total disclosed funding to $10.6 million across three rounds. The edtech company had raised an undisclosed amount from Founders Collective in April last year and closed a $3.1 million seed round led by TLcom Capital in November 2019.
With the Series A round of funding, Sim Shagaya’s uLesson will be leveraged to drive the expansion of the tech-enabled education platform for students across the African continent.
Speaking on the startup’s latest funding, uLesson founder and CEO, Sim Shagaya explained that backed by the multi-million dollar funding, the edtech platform would be better positioned to cater to the diverse and unique online learning needs of students across Africa in the post-COVID-19 era.
Africa is not one place. Different needs, cultures and curricula mean that uLesson has to carefully and deliberately think about how to design products and distribution channels to serve such a vast market. Almost daily we receive emails from families across the continent asking us to make services available to them. And in 2021, we will.Sim Shagaya
“At uLesson, we know we have a critical role to play in this ‘new normal’ and this funding will be crucial in our drive to fill the major gaps in Africa’s education system through tech,” he added.
uLesson will be expanding into Eastern & Southern Africa as well as launch new products including one-to-one tutoring sessions and a new pan-African primary school library. The startup is also planning towards launching the iOS version of its mobile app.
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In the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, the uLesson app has been widely embraced by junior and senior secondary school students in West Africa – Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia, due to the shift towards e-learning accelerated by the shutdown of schools in the aftermath of COVID-19.
The edtech startup has so far produced over 5,000 animated video lessons and 30,000 tests and quizzes for senior and junior students based on each country’s curriculum.
With up to 1 million uLesson app downloads since its release in March 2020, the app has played a key role in facilitating uninterrupted remote learning through live video classes from expert tutors, class tests on subjects including Mathematics and English, as well as preparing students for exams such as JAMB, WASSCE and BECE.
The rapid adoption of the uLesson app in Nigeria shows that the future of education is virtual. Under the new normal, internet usage and smartphone penetration have increased, spurring the growth of online learning among students in Africa.
According to Sim Shagaya, “the foundations are now in place for an education revolution.”
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