For years, offline test preparation centers in Nigeria have provided after-school counseling and tutoring for students looking to pass entrance exams. Edtech platforms like Edukoya were created with the intention of putting these models online and keeping them affordable for students.
Today the Lagos and London-based startup that creates online educational content and provides online tutoring for students and their parents raised $ 3.5 million in pre-seed funding under the direction of a European VC company Global goal.
The platform offers a range of functions such as 24/7 exam preparation and homework help, a question bank with step-by-step instructions and personalized performance tracking systems.
Edukoya was founded by the CEO Honey Ogundeyi in May. She told TechCrunch that the platform, which launched in beta this month, should go fully live in 2022.
Nigeria’s education system is a powerful representation of what exists in most of Africa’s countries: bad equipped classrooms, few highly qualified teachers, terrible infrastructure, irrelevant curriculum, and a ridiculous student-to-teacher ratio (it was so as high as 46: 1 in Nigeria for primary school).
ONEBecause of these challenges, the average parent is looking for afternoon classes for their children. Ogundeyi saw this while she was in school in Nigeria, and she said she founded Edukoya after contrasting K-12 experiences in the West African country and the UK
“Sometimes even the most brilliant students can leave shut down the system, ”she said. “If my parents hadn’t made the sacrifice of going abroad, all the successes I’ve had in my career would have been very different. Now I have two children and When I saw the same problem of going to school and struggling with some subjects, I started looking for extra-curricular teachers. And it simple It struck me that not much has changed about this in the past 50 years. If we look at all the innovations in different industries, the education system is Africa has remained 50 years untouched; it has stagnated. “
At the end of any K-12 education, the goal of most students is to go to university. Like in the United States, where the SAT is the standardized test for university admission, the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) and West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) are the equivalent for university admission in Nigeria.
students usually For these exams, practice using materials that include previous exam questions. Edukoya has bundled these practice tests for both entrance exams (approx. 20,000) in its mobile application. Edukoya said it provides step-by-step solutions to “difficult problems in previous exam papers”, and Students can reach out to experienced tutors to help them if they get stuck.
The platform then provides insights with scores, time spent per question, and other statistics to help students identify their strengths and areas for improvement.
In the few months that the platform has been in beta with a handful of users, Edukoya claims that 96% of the students who used the platform got better grades in the most recent tests than if they did not use Edukoya.
Edukoya isn’t the first edtech startup to launch an online study or exam preparation application in Nigeria. So Many similar platforms have popped up over the past five years that it looked like the only Edtech brand that could be built in the country.
Many of them have closed or have reached little or no benchmark. Edukoya still has work to do. But after the largest pre-seed round in Nigeria and on the continent, the startup has is ready to reach a larger scale than its predecessors who only secured small sums of VC money.
Additionally, Ogundeyi believes that Edukoya’s approach to learning sets it apart from its competition and previous platforms.
“This model is unique in that we can reach parents and learners 100% online and not only support them with exams, but also with daily learning, homework, support, etc.
“Edukoya goes beyond exam preparation. First is it an educational partner for parents and learners in primary and secondary schools. We’ve seen people deal with smaller bags in different ways, but not holistically so we think about it, ”she said.
Most of the edtechs that play in this area tend to start their platforms for grades 1-12. Edukoya looks at it different. The platform is only available to students in grades 10-12, the segment that takes exams at universities.
Ogundeyi said that once the company tests this very narrow segment and five core subjects, it will open up to cover more subjects and other grade levels.
The CEO explained why the company adopted this strategy: “I think That’s my main focus – one of the things I got from Google is that a core group of people love you first. We work with the last three grades, which are very important in Nigeria because the exams are taken there. and we think This is a good type of test bucket to work with Yes, really Core group of people who need intervention in this area. Once we have proven that it works here, it will be easier for us to expand it to other curriculum years and grades. “
Edukoya is now free, but Odukoya said the company would explore a freemium model of premium products are used to sell students or parents.
Ogundeyi noted that Edukoya would need to continue to find experienced teachers to provide tutoring services for this to happen. For new age edtechs, including the YC supported Kenyan startup Form, Tencent and Owl Ventures portfolio companies u lesson, alignment with these three communities (students, teachers, and parents) is paramount from day one.
This is not the CEO’s first term to lead a startup. In 2014 she founded Fashpa, a Nigerian e-commerce shop for fashion. Her professional career includes consulting and leadership positions at McKinsey & Company, Ericsson, Google and UK-Nigeria Tech Hub.
She was also the founding CMO of Kuda, the Nigerian Neobank founded by her husband Babs Ogundeyi. He’s one of the angel investors for this round; others are co-founder Musty Mustapha, Paystack CEO Shola Akinlade, Stash founders Brandon Krieg and Ed Robinson, and Aux Money CEO Raffael Johnen.
Lina Chong, the Investment Director at Target Global, reiterated their firm’s investment, saying, “Edukoya’s mission to provide better quality to millions of African students, combined with the team’s ability to achieve this goal, made an immediate impression on me and everyone Team at Global Goal. Your business has the potential to unlock learning potential and improve life for generations. “
Ogundeyi mentioned that much of the pre-seed funding would expand his team and learner base and build the technology for his learning platform, including supporting his Pan-African and European developer centers.
The CEO was one of the first founders in Nigeria. Seven years after its first start, it has now put on the largest round in this “minority class” so far. Although she is impressed by the quality of the founders and the diamond sizes they have mastered, she said that her clique is still in its infancy.
“I’ve been in this field for a long time and have a particular passion for founders and Expanding the scope of what we can do. Not me do this segmentation so much. Given the right opportunity and With the right experience, female founders can build large, valuable companies. That is simple Day one for us as part of this trip. “