Africa-focused venture capitalist firm, Future Africa has invested in Nexford University as the online institution closes a $10 million series A funding round. While the exact tune of the VC’s investment is not disclosed, we understand that the funding is coming from its new thematic fund focused on education and led by Flutterwave cofounder, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji.
Launched in 2019, Nexford University is a Washington-based, tech-enabled institution that leverages machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to create a data and skills-driven curriculum. The university was founded on the beliefs that a lack of education is the root cause of most world challenges and that people should be able to access economic opportunities irrespective of physical location.
In 2021, it is not acceptable for less than 10% of the world population to have a college degree, or for student debt in the US to be over $1.6 trillion. Now, with additional funding, we can invest in the technology and teams required to address these challenges.Fadl Al Tarzi, CEO of Nexford University
Therefore this latest raise is expected to fuel the online university’s expansion plans particularly in Asia as well as continue building products to deliver skills employers are looking for, and expand its B2B offerings. The university also aims to expand its offering to meet rising needs for re-skilling and up-skilling in a post-pandemic workplace to improve employer-funded education which accounts for a large percentage of Nexford’s revenue.
Future Africa is a fund that looks to connect investors to mission-driven startups that are turning Africa’s most difficult challenges into global business opportunities. Startups in its portfolio include Nigerian green transport company, MaxNG, Kenyan logistics startup, Lori, Nigerian fintechs, Bamboo, Rise and Buycoins.
While the fund is mostly focused on African startups, it has occasionally delved into foreign-based companies including Andela, Tambua Health and now, Nexford Universities.
During the pandemic, while many universities in Nigeria were shut down due to labour disputes, Nexford was already delivering an innovative and affordable new model of online higher education designed for a skills-based economy. Nexford is an absolute game-changer for higher education in Africa. We are excited to make this Future Africa’s first investment out of its soon-to-be launched fund focused on the future of learning.Iyin Aboyeji, CEO of Future Africa
Nexford has recorded outstanding growth in just over a year since its establishment. Its revenues in 2020 grew by 300%, with learners enrolling from over 65 countries.
Nexford also has blue-chip partnerships with Microsoft, LinkedIn Learning and IBM to provide access to tools, courses and programmes to enrich the learning experience. Nexford’s curriculum is also specifically designed to match employers’ needs with its graduates’ skills.
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