Business

Nigerian edtech startup Teesas is raising $ 1.6 million in a pre-seed round to open a tutor marketplace and expand in eastern, southern and francophone Africa in 2022

After seven years in the production of electronic equipment, under his company Imose technologies, Not icedonian gnomes said goodbye to explore an idea he’d been playing with for some time – an edtech startup, Teasaswho now offers video courses and other digital teaching materials to learners in Nigeria.

Teesas, which launched less than two months ago, has got off to a quick start, resulting in a successful pre-seed funding round of $ 1.6 million. Izedonmwen plans to expand by investing in new markets, launching a marketplace that connects learners with tutors for one-to-one tuition, and expanding the range of products in its portfolio.

“We started beta testing around August this year and fully rolled out the Android version in November. Teesas already has over 150,000 downloads on the Google Play Store, and we’re now growing at least 20% every week, ”Izedonmwen told TechCrunch.

Teesas content is aligned with Nigeria’s national curriculum and is made available to learners in both live and recorded formats through a subscription program that starts at $ 6 per month. In addition to regular school work, the startup also offers local language courses.

“Live courses deal with concepts where learners have challenges. The learners sit with the teachers in small distance classes of 10 or 15 people to gain personal engagement and make the teaching process more rigorous, ”said Izedonmwen.

In the near future, Teesas will offer modules across the curriculum for learners up to the age of 12.

“We foresee a future where children don’t have to attend face-to-face classes because they can cover the entire curriculum in one app and are ready enough for their secondary school entrance exams,” he said.

Teesas will also be introducing life skills courses in the first half of next year to prepare learners for self-discovery. This is in addition to the anti-bullying lessons inspired by the reports of increasing numbers of bullying in Nigeria, some of which resulted in death.

Part of Teesas’ next plan is to open a marketplace for tutors and open up new markets in Francophone, Eastern and Southern Africa. Credit: Teasas

Product development

Work on Teesas began in March last year, with the design and development of the platform being largely taken over by their Edtech counterparts in India, which were used as benchmarks for content structure and instruction.

“I looked at India because it’s really progressive and some big companies like it. has Byju is leading the edtech revolution. I actually went there to spend some time really understanding the model and also looked for ways to improve on what they were doing.

The adaptation he is referring to includes the use of local art, food, animals, cultural practices and languages ​​to complement the learning process.

While Icedonmwen is now fully occupied with Teesas where he is the CEO, he continues to serve as Chairman of Imose Technologies, the Lagos-based technology company he founded to power electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, internet routers and laptops.

“Teesas will have the greatest impact on the future of education in Africa. And I really want to be sure that I’m doing my best to drive this transformation – that’s why I’m focusing on it, ”he said, confirming that part of their next plan will be to enter new markets in the French-speaking world. East and South Africa.

Before founding Imose, Izedonmwen, a trained engineer, worked for the oil and gas company ExxonMobil for 15 years, where he was promoted to operations manager for the company in Nigeria.

Teesas is now joining a growing list of edtech startups in Africa that have recently received funds from investors betting on the fledgling edtech industry in Africa – which has been booming recently with the tailwind of the Covid pandemic has experienced.

New players in space include Kenya Form and Craydel, and Nigeria Edukoya and ULesson.

The Teesas round was chaired by Haresh Aswani, Africa executive director of the Tolaram Group, with the participation of Olivegreen Advisory Partners, an Africa-focused venture studio, and other angel investors.

“We believe in the mission that Icedonmwen and the Teesas team have set themselves and are confident that they are best placed to meet the challenge of using technology to improve access to quality education across Africa,” said Aswani.

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