EDTECH STARTUP uLesson, Sim Shagaya’s Raises $3.1M!


Edtech Startup uLesson

Edtech startup uLesson in a seed-level round led by TLcom Capital raised $3.1 million which is aimed at scaling up its audiovisual education content across the continent of Africa. However, it’s a new startup from the man behind Konga ‘Sim Shagaya’. Sorry, I am posting this now.

The new startup (uLesson) is headquartered in Lagos with a production studio located in Jos, a city in north-central Nigeria, and while in Jos, the founder has spent much of 2019 recruiting writers, motion graphics artists coupled with other staff that will be useful in creating content. However, the startup service will be available via a subscription model when it’s launched officially in 2020, precisely on the uLesson Android app.

At the moment, the startup is still at its development phase and there are plans to have it launched, February 2020 in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Gambia according to reports.

The company made it clear that the funds raised will be used to bring its already developed video lessons, tests, and quizzes to the West African market, while on the other hand, there are plans to develop culture-specific content for East Africa. Meanwhile, the company says:

uLesson has built the technology to deploy curriculum-relevant content via smartphones that allow learners to use the product without concern for internet limitation and cost”.

Prior to the new development emerging from Edtech startup uLesson, Shagaya had successfully left his digital advertising venture E-Motion this same year, after it was sold to Loatsad Promedia.

Meanwhile, it’s been anticipated Shagaya’s current startup will practically face challenges since there are already Education startups in Nigeria, like Tuteria. And elsewhere, a phone-based student learning company ‘Eneza Education’ based in Kenya has expanded to Ghana.

Also figured out was the fact that Shagaya earned a Harvard MBA and had also worked for Google before he returned to Nigeria. This will certainly be an advantage to uLesson – also viewed as his return to the startup scene.

It’s evident, specific language speaking countries were considered priority and when ask, he said: “We’re targeting Anglophone West Africa…for a market of effectively 300 million people”. In the same vein, he also spoke concerning academic challenges West Africans are faced with, adding that:

We have this massive gap…We’re adding more babies in this country nominally than all of Western Europe…Even if the [Nigerian] government was supper efficient, it couldn’t catch up with the educational needs of the young people that are coming up”.

In another dimension, it’s understood the partners of TLcom’s executive team, ‘Ido Sum’ and ‘Omobola Johnson’ are meant to join uLesson board as part of the round. However, ‘Ido Sum’ in his reference to uLesson, added that “an entrepreneur-led startup building affordable, mass-market mobile-first solution tackling one of Africa’s largest challenges”.

Speaking of Edtech startup uLesson primary objective, Shagaya stressed on the need to pay more attention to his current company yet to be launched officially – while focusing on African educational challenges, emphasized that “for me this probably the most important work I’ll do”.

  • What’s your take on Edtech startup uLesson achievement?