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Sim Shagaya’s uLesson raises $7.5 million Series A

A year after it raised a seed round of $3.1m, Nigerian Edtech platform uLesson founded by former Konga’s CEO Sim Shagaya, announced today that it has closed a $7.5m Series A round.

uLesson, which was founded in 2019, is working on bridging the educational gaps for K-7 to K-12 students across Africa by delivering affordable, high-quality and accessible education using technology.

This funding round was led by US-based Owl Ventures, the largest fund focused on the world’s edtech market, with over $1.2 billion in assets under management.

Existing investors, TLcom Capital — the lead investor in uLesson’s seed round — and Founder Collective were joined by LocalGlobe; a first-time investor.

Tory Patterson, the managing director of Owl Ventures, now joins the uLesson board, alongside TLcom partners, Omobola Johnson and Ido Sum who joined two years ago.

Speaking on this funding round, Patterson says, “Owl Ventures is honoured to be partnering with uLesson for their Series A. The company has quickly grown into the premier platform supporting students in Africa and we are excited to support their global expansion, as they seek to empower students around the world.”

uLesson’s content was originally tailored for K-12 students in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Gambia.  It now includes the IGCSE curriculum, which is relevant for these markets as well.

Having made significant progress in West Africa, uLesson is looking to expand to eastern and southern Africa. Alongside uLesson’s expansion, the startup is set to launch a host of new products including a new pan-African primary school library, 1-on-1 tutoring sessions, and Challenge – its new feature that allows learners to challenge friends to a quiz. The platform has also set its sights on launching an iOS app in the near future.

uLesson Founder/CEO Sim Shagaya says, “Africa is not one place. Different needs, cultures, and curricula mean that uLesson has to carefully and deliberately think about how to design products and distribution channels to serve such a vast market. Almost daily we receive emails from families across the continent asking us to make services available to them. And in 2021, we will.”

With this funding round, uLesson is one of the few edtech startups in Africa that has cumulatively raised eight-figure million-dollar sums. A testament to the fact that it’s making significant strides. 

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