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Owl Ventures leads Series A in Nigerian education technology startup

Staff writer
Jan. 21, 2021, 3:16 p.m.
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Word count: 488

Owl Ventures, the largest venture capital fund in the world focused on the education technology market with over $1.2bn in assets under management, has led a $7.5m Series A round in uLesson, a Nigerian technology platform.

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Owl Ventures, the largest venture capital fund in the world focused on the education technology market with over $1.2bn in assets under management, has led a $7.5m Series A round in uLesson, a Nigerian technology platform.

Tory Patterson, Managing Director of Owl Ventures, said: “Owl Ventures is honored 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.”

Other investors in the round included TLcom Capital and Founder Collective and participation from new investor LocalGlobe.

“As an investor, it’s rare to find a massive, under-served market being addressed by an entrepreneur whose skills are tailor-made for the opportunity,” said David Frankel, Managing Partner at Founder Collective.

Suzanne Ashman, Partner at LocalGlobe, added: “We are thrilled to add uLesson to our emerging portfolio of Africa-based companies. We, like many investors and entrepreneurs, are excited by Africa’s future and the potential for a wave of category defining tech companies to emerge in the region. We were hugely impressed by the foundational DNA of uLesson’s team in Nigeria. The team has purpose-built the product to make the learning experience significantly more engaging and effective than a large classroom experience. We are delighted to be part of uLesson’s journey.”

The funding will be deployed to power uLesson’s expansion into Eastern & Southern Africa, as well as secure new talent and build its product development and production infrastructure.

Founded by serial entrepreneur, Sim Shagaya, uLesson curates personalised, curriculum-relevant content via mobile and PC devices for students in the K-7 to K-12 segment across the continent.

Students can access the lessons via streaming and SD cards, where they can download and store the content, allowing them to study remotely, removing challenges around internet access limitations and costs.

uLesson’s content is originally tailored for Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia within the K-12 segment and now includes IGCSE curriculum which is relevant for the other markets.

Alongside uLesson’s expansion into Eastern & Southern Africa, the startup is set to launch a host of new products including a new pan-African primary school library, 1:1 tutoring sessions and Challenge – its new app 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.

The raise follows uLesson’s initial $3.1m seed round in November 2019, led by TLcom Capital with participation from the company’s Founder and CEO, Sim Shagaya.

Ido Sum, Partner at TLcom Capital, said: “Since we partnered with Sim in 2019, uLesson has shown exceptional growth and fully validated our belief in its huge potential. We welcome Owl Ventures and LocalGlobe, as combining their domain expertise from other markets with our local presence and expertise, we can together further support the company to become a world class EdTech platform.”

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