Just over a year after raising its seed funding, Abuja-based ed-tech startup uLesson has raised US$7.5 million in its Series A round.
US-based Owl Ventures, the largest ed-tech focused VC fund with over $1.2 billion in assets under management, led the round. For Owl Ventures this also opens up an opportunity for synergies and possible mergers with some other portfolio companies including India’s Byju’s, the world’s most valued ed-tech startup.
Existing investors, TLcom Capital and Founder Collective, also participated while LocalGlobe joined as another new investor. TLcom had led uLesson’s $3.1 million seed round in 2019.
uLesson, founded by serial entrepreneur Sim Shagaya, is trying to bridge gaps in education for secondary and higher secondary students across Africa via technology.
It brings curricula and a network of tutors for students through mobile phones with storage cards, internet dongles and headphones. This helps students access downloadable content even when internet is patchy.
uLesson’s content is customised for students in West African nations such as Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Gambia. The content incudes animated video lessons besides quizzes and tests.
It is now looking to expand to other continental markets in the east and south.
uLesson founder Shagaya had previously started Nigerian e-commerce startup Konga and digital advertising venture E-Motion.
While Konga had a distressed sale three years ago, Shagaya was more successful with E-Motion in 2019 when it was bought by Loatsad Promedia. Some of the dough from this sale was channelled by Shagaya as part of uLesson’s seed round.