Nigeria: Nigerian ed-tech startup uLesson, launched by Konga founder Sim Shagaya, has raised a US$7.5 million Series A funding round as it prepares to expand across Africa.
Founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneur Shagaya, uLesson curates personalized, curriculum-relevant content via mobile and PC devices for students in the K-7 to K-12 segment. Students access the lessons via streaming and SD cards, where they can download and store the content, allowing them to study remotely.
The Series A round is led by Owl Ventures, with inclusion from existing investors TLcom Capital and Founder Collective, and participation from new investor LocalGlobe. Tory Patterson, managing director of Owl Ventures, joins the uLesson board.
Shagaya explained the need for deliberately-tailored content to suit individual markets as uLesson embarks on its expansion journey.
“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,” he said.
“The appreciation of the importance of education has always been there; the means of delivering digital, relevant education has previously been lacking. We are now witnessing an increased availability of data networks in Africa and with more affordable smartphones and the change in attitudes towards online learning accelerated by COVID-19, the foundations are now in place for an education revolution. 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.”
Alongside uLesson’s expansion into Eastern & Southern Africa, the startup is set to launch a host of new products, including a new pan-African primary school library, one-on-one tutoring sessions, and “Challenge” – its new app feature that allows learners to challenge friends to a quiz. The platform has also set its sights on launching an iOS app in the near future.