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African edtech startup uLesson raises $15M, backed by Nielsen Ventures and Tencent – TechCrunch

Many educational technology companies have benefited from the pandemic turmoil and have collected large amounts of cash from investors around the world, making them feel like African start-ups. The remaining out.Well, no more: 2-year-old startup uLesson Today we announced that we have finished the $ 15 million Series B round.

Investment made 11 months after uLesson raises $ 7.5 Million Series A, Completed by Five Investors: Tencent, Nielsen Ventures, and existing investors Owl Ventures, TLcom Capital, Founder Collective. This is the largest disclosure investment in African edtech startups.

Founded by the founder of Nigerian cereals Sim Shagaya In 2019, uLesson is on the market When a pandemic occurred last year.. As a young company, we had to switch our business model several times to see what would continue in the very tough African market...

The first startup launched by We provide SD card and dongle product packs and pre-recorded videos for students from kindergarten to high school. You can access the lessons via streaming or download and save the content using your SD card.

However, uLesson has introduced new features for comprehensive edtech play for this demographic... Added quiz and homework help features to connect students and college tutors.. The startup has also launched a one-to-many live class feature with voting and leaderboards, and a one-to-one live experience with DevKids, a coding class that is independent of the core uLesson platform.

DevKids since then Rolled But back. According to Shagaya, uLesson began as an experiment teaching children how to code, and is working to bring this feature, which at some point earned 30% of the company’s revenue, to the uLesson platform by January next year. ..

“What we want Finally This is a variety of free users who can use the app, attend live classes and pay a premium experience to get homework helpers, “said e-commerce platforms DealDey and Konga. The founding CEO says.

“And my parents Want to invest in the best for their kids which is one of the ways you can do it Personalized One-on-one instruction for children, whether coding using DevKids, math, science or English. “

These features indicate that uLesson is currently engaged in the online tutoring business.It’s a market with most African educational technology startups Not done Nevertheless, we have made great strides Apparently necessary.. However, uLesson has taken a clear approach by building that single proposal as a feature, while other platforms are trying to sell tutoring services as a product instead.

Various uLesson services provide stickiness (students spend an average of 57 minutes on the app), and parents are now investing in smartphones for their children’s school education. Independently Or via uLesson’s “device + plan” bundle, available only in Nigeria..

Parents also allow their children to learn on their mobile phones (about 50% of uLesson learners do that). puLesson rice ranges from ₦7500 (about $ 18) per month for two years.Device + plan ” ₦ 137,000 ($ 334).

So far, the uLesson app According to the company, 2 million downloads. Over 12.3 million videos Seen, Answered 25.6 million questions on the platform.

To my surpriseDespite the return of students from kindergarten to high school, uLesson continued to grow. Contrary to the general perception of the product as a second choice for students from kindergarten to high school, Shagaya said uLesson has permeated users’ daily educational activities.

In this case, uLesson employs a variety of ways to charge the school and its stakeholders... Some schools, especially high-end schools, pay for students to access uLesson, while others pass on costs to parents or give products to parents through tuition fees. I recommend it. Individually..

“Schools have become a big channel for us, and half of our subscribers use us at school,” he said. “We see Interesting applications of all kinds we build, these are some of the leading schools in the country...So we are not Supplement from that point of view.

“Our vision is to create a feedback loop between teachers and learners, parents and schools that embraces a virtuous circle and leads to improved education systems.”

The company uses 180 field sales agents for schools and individual users in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Ghana., The country with the most marketing attention from uLesson.

The platform is also available in other markets such as South Africa, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom, Liberia, The Gambia and the United States, but Shagaya said uLesson has spread to these countries by word of mouth. Nigeria continues to be uLesson’s largest market, Shagaya said. The country is responsible for 85% of uLesson paid users.

Regarding similar indicators, uLesson said paid users increased by 600% last year. The monthly average user also increased by 700%, but the daily average user surged 430% within the same time frame...

According to the company, demand for live lessons has increased by 222% since its introduction in September. Regarding learner performance, Abuja-based startups claim that some learners have moved from the 50th percentile to the 90th percentile in their classes.

Introduced by uLesson in August Offline center..These spaces were learning destinations, but from now on According to Mr. Shagaya, educate and register with the general public about the importance of uLesson.

“We plan to roll out many of these things next year. [how] People use them, “says Shagaya,” 2021 is a year for us to test what works and now we know what works. Therefore, in 2021 Has many experiments. And in 2022, it will run on what works.. “

uLesson center

In the statement David Frankel, Founder Collective’s managing partner compared what uLesson is doing in African education, how Uber changed transportation and Coupang changed e-commerce in the US and South Korea.

He adds that it is “an avid supporter of Shagaya and his vision for more accessible and affordable educational opportunities for millions of people.”

Earlier this year, uLesson introduced Owl Ventures as a strategic investor in its second round of financing... The third round includes another in the form of Chinese technology multinational Tencent.

With the tech giant Owl Ventures supports Byju, the world’s most valuable educational technology.. It’s premature to say, but (as a result of sharing similar investors) there are both companies on each other’s radar, and the Indian company’s. Acquisition spree ULesson may be eligible for acquisition in the last three quarters or more. $ 18 billion giant I’m interested in Africa.

Shagaya did not comment on the speculation. Instead, he is particularly excited to adopt Tencent as the first edtech investment for tech giants in Africa.

Tencent has made a few fintech investments in Africa. especially Paystack, and Recently completed two new investments in South Africa: Payment Gateway Ozo And Challenger Bank TymeBank..

“Tencent Historically It has been A large investor in edtech. They have a lot of learning, it’s you Talk to them about the investments they made in China as well as India and around the world, “Shagaya commented. “”Among them, we came here and saw a partner who worked with us and fueled us. Double what works. “

The new capital will allow uLesson to continue to invest in product development, enhance core technology and add cohort-based learning capabilities, the company said.

We also want to extend the content of science and mathematics to include “social sciences and financial accounting at the secondary level content library, and qualitative and quantitative reasoning at the primary level”.

African edtech startup uLesson raises $15M, backed by Nielsen Ventures and Tencent – TechCrunch Source link African edtech startup uLesson raises $15M, backed by Nielsen Ventures and Tencent – TechCrunch

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