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Online course platform Hyperion Development has secured US$230 000 (R3.27-million) in funding from Facebook. The amount was rewarded as a result of the startup winning the Internet.org Innovation Challenge in the Education division.
“The award will allow us to scale our offerings more rapidly and internationally, accelerating the growth of what is already a profitable and socially impactful business. We’re excited to work with
Facebook and Internet.org to make software development education and careers open to all,” says the founder and director of Hyperion Development, Riaz Moola, in a press release to Ventureburn.
The startup focuses on offering part-time, online courses for a range of programming skills, such as website development and mobile app development, along with Computer Science. It then pairs students with one-on-one mentors and tutors from around Africa.
Another aspect that sets Hyperion Development aside from its competitors is the offering of free courses. For each course that it sells, the startup offers a free course to one low-income or unemployed youth in Africa.
Students can also seek employment through the Hyperion Careers portal, which lists job openings from programmers and the like.
Earlier this year, the startup received R1.3-million in funding from Google and is the first startup financially backed by both the internet giant and Facebook.
It is in the process of finalising additional funding from Google, CapaCiti, The South African Department of Science and Technology, and the TK Foundation. This would bring its total funding to R7-million.
Since its launch in 2012, the company has grown to over 10 000 students spanning 20 countries.