The year 2021 was a very fantastic year for the tech space in general. As much as it was the case across the space, no doubt certain sectors stood out. Of course, there was fintech with mega-rounds of funding raised.
Then there was health technology with the likes of Helium Health completing a major acquisition in far away Asia and 54Gene landing major investments while scaling its offerings and improving its facilities.
The educational technology sector wasn’t left out though. uLesson is proving to be the clear leader in that space, recording huge traction while also landing a major investment. There was also Edukoya, the startup which landed huge funding while still in beta mode.
So without further ado, here are the Top 5 edtech platforms in Nigeria for the year 2021.
We could talk about educational technology startups that recorded successes in 2021 but uLesson took the year and owned it from the get-go. The foremost edtech company in Nigeria kicked off the year with a loud bang when it completed a $7.5 million Series A round in January.
But if you think that was good, the Sim Shagaya-led company made it even better when it announced a $15 million Series B round in December. That represented the largest disclosed investment in an African edtech startup.
The funding, which saw participation by Tencent, Nielsen Ventures, and existing investors Owl Ventures, TLcom Capital and Founder Collective. meant the startup was able to raise $22.5 million in 2021. If that isn’t impressive, then what is?
Founded in 2019 by Sim Shagaya, the company says its app has over 2 million downloads so far. It also says over 12.3 million videos have been watched on its platform, with 25.6 million questions answered.
uLesson also said its paying users grew 600% this past year. Its monthly average users also increased 700%, while average daily users surged 430% within the same time frame, per Techcrunch.
The company said its live lesson demand grew by 222% since its introduction in September 2021. It has raised a total disclosed funding of $25.6 million to date.
AltSchool Africa is one of my most favourite success stories of 2021 in the Nigerian edtech space. This is simply because its goal is to achieve what nobody else has tried before; train tech talents for free and then certify them with a universally recognised certification. This would essentially make it the first developer certificate awarding institution in Africa.
The digital institution is looking to achieve this through collaboration with Michael and Cecilia Ibru University (MCIU), Ughelli Delta State which would be the certificate awarding institution.
Founded in October 2021 as a sub-institution of TalentQL, a tech talent outsourcing company, AltSchool hopes to eradicate poverty by democratising access to tech training to just about anybody in Africa. The institution doesn’t charge for tuition and after the training, helps the students find job placements.
“We are banking on them to succeed that is why we are willing to invest in their education. The tuition fee is zero dollars. The students don’t have to pay a kobo. We will take care of that,” TalentQL Co-Founder and CEO said.
AltSchool’s ‘early bird’ phase for the early applicants will commence their first assessment in early January. Learning which would be mentor-based would focus on three core areas; front end, back end and cloud engineering. The program would last for 9 months after which students would be placed on internship programs for 3 months.
Edukoya burst into the scene in December and made an instant big bang with its fundraising. For an education technology startup still on Beta to raise an outstanding $3.5 million, seemingly out of the blues, that was really impressive.
The fundraising represented the largest pre-seed round for an African edtech platform to date.
Founded in 2021 by Honey Ogundeyi, Edukoya’s mission is to build the world’s largest online learning platform for Africans by making high-quality learning materials and support more accessible and affordable. In essence, it wants to reinvent how African students learn in the age of mobile devices.
It hopes to achieve this by connecting African students with the digital curriculum content and on-demand teachers for real-time online learning. The startup has offices in the United Kingdom and in Nigeria.
According to the startup, its app was the 2nd most downloaded education app in Nigeria in its launch week.
Africa has the fastest-growing school-age population globally, with over 260M students and counting. Our goal is to democratize access and make high quality instruction and content accessible and affordable to every student, regardless of where he or she lives on the continentHoney Ogundeyi, Founder and CEO of Edukoya
While other edtech startups might be trying to bring students online, Edves is one of the startups choosing a different approach. This approach is simply to bring schools online through its cloud-based platform.
Founded in September 2016 by Dimeji Falana and Dare Adebayo, Edves is a cloud-based school management software platform. It provides an integrated suite of services, allowing schools to manage report cards, fees payment, digital learning, student enrollment and much more.
As part of its digital infrastructure efforts, the company also enables interaction between teachers, parents and administrators to deliver education and means of collaborating on learners’ progress on learning goals, track and analyze learning outcomes.
The platform also allows parents to view certain details about their children/wards as well as pay fees on the platform. Considering that not all parents are tech-savvy, these details can be accessed via text, email, an app or the web platform itself.
In October, the edtech platform secured a seed funding extension of $575,000 as part of its plans to improve its products and bring more schools online. This was more than 3 years after it secured the initial seed funding of $120,000 from CCHub and Chinook Capital.
“Schools all over the continent need easy-to-use, secure learner management software that encompasses all school needs by addressing specific challenges with capturing data, paperwork, and improving every area of school operations”
While learning and studying are incentives on their own, how about an edtech startup that gives students an opportunity to learn and earn at the same time? Well, this is exactly what recently-launched Nigerian edtech platform, Stranerd is offering its users.
Founded by Jeremiah Godwin (CEO) and Timmy Salami (COO/CFO), and launched in August 2021 (Beta), the edtech startup started off as an Instagram page that helped mainly foreign students with their studies.
But during the pandemic of 2020, there was a rise in the number of Nigerian students needing education technology services. They also discovered that asides from a platform like Ulesson which caters mainly to K-2 pupils, A-Level and university students had no access to a single platform that could solve their educational problems.
Stranerd also operates a Coin System which is basically an on-site currency and reward system. Just like actual cash, the coin system facilitates every action carried out on the platform. The system enables users to earn and spend these coins on the offerings on the platform.
In all, Stranerd is offering students a fun and enjoyable way to learn by interacting with their peers. It also gives them an opportunity to earn money and, in some ways, teaches them how to be financially responsible by spending their coins on the things they need. This is why we think this startup is special.
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