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Nigerian edtech startup uLesson closes over $3m seed round led by TLcom Capital
Nigerian edtech learning platform uLesson has closed a $3.1-million seed round led by London headquartered TLcom Capital.
The startup was launched earlier this year by Nigerian serial entrepreneur and Konga founder Sim Shagaya and is based in Jos, in central Nigeria. It produces curriculum content for secondary school learners across the West Africa region.
The seed round, in which Shagaya also participated, will enable the edtech startup to launch its product in West Africa. In addition, uLesson intends to use the funding to develop educational content and a specialised product for the East African market.
The uLesson platform has been in development and beta testing for the last 12 months and will officially launch next year.
Edtech learning platform uLesson will officially be launched next year in the first quarter
The platform allows learners to experience personalised learning, practice tests, region-specific mock tests and assessed performance and progress for students and parents, including reporting dashboards for detailed analysis.
Its content is tailored towards the West African Examination Council (Waec) curriculum region — which includes Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia — and focuses on core subjects of Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology for secondary school students.
‘3000 quizzes, tests, learning modules produced’
The startup’s team has to date produced over 3000 animated and personalised video learning modules, as well as quizzes and tests that will be available on the uLesson android app, via a subscription model, in the first quarter of next year.
In addition to streaming, uLesson curriculum content will be delivered to users via SD cards, allowing learners to use the product without concern for internet limitations and costs.
Shagaya, commenting in a statement issued earlier today, said education systems across Africa are in crisis and uLesson has been developed to radically shake-up the system and bring better access to high-quality curriculum-relevant educational content to learners across the continent.
“As our population grows extremely rapidly, the current public and private approach to education investment is chasing a goal that is moving further away.
“We want to lower the entry point for access to education for young Africans, and technology is the only way this challenge will be met. With this in mind, today is not just an investment in uLesson – it’s an investment in Africa’s future,” he added.
Shagaya said the dearth of quality teachers, tutors and educational infrastructure on the continent represents a “ticking youth bomb “for the region’s unprecedented demographic growth.
“We work collaboratively, passionately and relentlessly, utilising every tool available, to deliver high quality affordable education to all Africans. Education, financial inclusion and health need to be tackled on the continent. Remarkable progress in developing financial products has been made.
“Of the other two, education represents an immediate opportunity that can be addressed with the tools provided by digital technology (smartphones, wireless internet, data storage and analytics). The startup believes it has a model that can work in substantially addressing these challenges,” he added.
TLcom partners join board
The investment deal will see Ido Sum and Omobola Johnson — who are both partners in TLcom’s executive team — join the uLesson board alongside former Konga CEO Shola Adekoya.
Sum, commenting on the deal, said in uLesson the venture capital firm found a company that fit with its ethos — an entrepreneur-led startup building affordable, mass-market mobile first solution tackling one of Africa’s largest challenges.
“In Sim, we have an entrepreneur with an unrivalled track record in building technology products for Africa.
“His team is building solutions for a massive opportunity, and we strongly believe they are about to make a serious dent in the education market across the continent,” added Sum.
Featured image: Student using uLesson’s platform (Supplied)