Latest News #DNNshowcase: Edu-Tech Startups To Financially Gain From Shutdown of...

#DNNshowcase: Edu-Tech Startups To Financially Gain From Shutdown of School’s

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Nigeria’s education sector has been on lockdown for more than two months, and there’s no specific time for resumption. While this is hurting the wallet of school owners, some tech entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the adversity, positioning their tech solutions as a perfect substitute for continuous education, and this is fueling the rise of Edu-Tech startups within the country.

Edu-Tech startups have been in existence long before the coronavirus in Nigeria, however, the acceptance of it by parent and schools have been low, as Nigerian parent prefer to embrace the traditional method of schooling;  the four corners. The grip of brick and mortar schools have been solid until the pandemic, now, that hold is loosing gradually as schools remain shut.

Edu-Tech startups are applying technological innovations to prep students and parents for test and examinations, while engaging them with problem-solving tasks that enable critical thinking at a fee that differs across each Edu-Tech platforms. As urbanisation spreads across Nigeria and the transferable COVID-19 takes a foothold within the country, Edu-Tech has become an effective alternative to private tutors.

This change in behaviourial pattern comes as COVID-19 changes the way people live. The pandemic has disrupted manufacturing, banking, aviation, including the way students learn. The pandemic has disrupted the education sector, flipped it upside down and position Edu-Tech startups to financially gain from the ruins it will leave behind. All these have renewed the interest of investors in Edu-Tech and the drive of Edu-Tech platforms as the over 25 million children out of school in Nigeria offer a large-size customer base.

Edu-Tech Companies Gaining From School’s Shutdown

Although, Edu-Tech companies have been behind other tech-enabled platforms in Nigeria when it comes to direct investment as they have acquired more of grants and funds from pitching competitions, but they are poised to financially gain from long shutdown of Nigerian schools as they keep the learning doors open.

Gradely: Gradely is one of the biggest gainers in Nigeria during the coronavirus pandemic. Not just because of its increasing exposure to households embracing online education, but because it closed a deal despite the lockdown of boardrooms. Gradely secured an undisclosed amount from Microtraction, an investment firm that offers as much as $25,000 in investment; the investment came in April 2020.

About 70 schools utilise Gradely to digitise homework for their students. Speaking on the reason for investing in Gradely, Microtraction said, “Gradely launches at a time when most schools are looking to explore digital learning for the first time. Gradely’s laser focus on getting intelligible insights from the student’s work is what truly differentiates them and underscores their desire to make an impact in the collective growth and educational journey of each student in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

AllNews learnt that “In response to the COVID-19 situation in Nigeria, Gradely is offering 1000 parents the opportunity to experience live tutoring with highly experienced Mathematics tutors who cover Nigerian and British curriculums,” Gradely said in a statement. Registration is free on Gradely, but it has a subscription plan of N1,500. Meanwhile, a live tutor costs N5000.

uLesson: This is another enabler of home-schooling that is being compensated by COVID-19. uLesson was founded by Sim Shagaya, the founder of Konga. Late last year, uLesson raised $3.1 million – in a seed round led by TLcom Capital – an amount enough to enable it to take advantage of the disruption caused by COVID-19. Just like Gradely, uLesson also uses artificial intelligence to lecture students through animation.

uLesson charges up-front, a yearly subscription price of around $70 and the option to pay as you go. The app-based home education offers online and offline lessons to students. Although, uLesson doesn’t plan to take over the role of schools, it intends to be an alternative to private tutors. According to Shagaya in a Tech Crunch report, “Even if the [Nigerian] government was super efficient, it couldn’t catch up with the educational needs of the young people that are coming up,” hence the need for Edu-tech startups.

Simbibot: This Edu-Tech platform is one of the few Nigerian tech startups that raised $500,000 during a Facebook Accelerator Programme earlier this year. Simbibot prides itself as an app-based lesson that teaches students any topic in any subject regardless of where they are.

The startup also gives an evaluation test at the end of every learning process to enable its users to test their knowledge and retain what they have learnt on Simbibot. While it has always been offering after-class lessons, Simbibot is now a member of what you call an A-Team, an essential problem-solving platform filling the gap created by the shutdown of schools.

Simbibots, founded by Abdulazeez Ogunjobi and Sodeeq Elusoji, now have about 50,000 users; a combination of parents and students. Simbibot charges N1,000 for a month, N2,500 for three months, and N10,000 for a year.

Prepclass: Prepclass links interested students to qualified tutors through their platform. The Edu-Tech startup, which last raised $300,000 in the second half of 2018, is one of the Edu-Tech platforms that have been resuscitated by the COVID-19 disruption in the education sector.

Founded by Olumide Ogunlana, Prepclass’ goal is to break the formal education norm. AllNews learnt that Prepclass offers one-on-one tutorial sessions, group learners tutorial sessions and adult group tutorial sessions, with over 50,000 registered tutors preparing students for “various tests ranging from the National Common Entrance exams to JAMB, SSAT, SSCE, GCE, NECO, IGCSE, SAT, GMAT / GRE, IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, ACCA, ICAN, and many more,” Prepclass stated on its website.

Prepclass also offers beyond academics, as users also learn languages, various musical instruments, abilities in make-up, culinary abilities, abilities in bead making and many more. Prepclass price ranges from Starter, Lite to Premium.

Myschoolng: Popular for its school and educational news, myschoolng has grown into Nigeria’s no1 most trustworthy internet-learning and educational resource platform. Its Jamb tutorial is very popular among jambites (Jamb writers). While it does chase after fundraising like other app-based home-schooling startups, it competes to lure students to partake in its e-learning centers.

It prides itself as the collator of likely questions for JAMB, Post-UTME, WAEC (SSCE), NECO, NABTEB or even first-year University Examination. Unlike the aforementioned Edu-Tech platforms, Myschoolng offers free online facility, enabling its users to have access to all the past questions to subjects of choice. But while it is offering free online learning, such a strategy will cause its customer base to increase, giving it enough firepower to pitch for investment when needed.

This article was originally published on ALLNEWS.ng |It was republished on mapmediapost with editorial permission

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