uLesson, founded in 2019 by Sim Shagaya, announced on Thursday, December 9, that it has raised $15million in a Series B round.
The investment round had participants including: Tencent, Nielsen Ventures, Owl Ventures, TLcom Capital and Founder Collective. This is the biggest investment to be revealed in an African edtech startup so far.
uLesson made its way into the edtech market when the covid 19 pandemic struck in 2020. The company started with offering a product pack of SD cards and USB dongles containing pre-recorded videos for K-12 students, then moved to adding more engaging features such as quizzes and homework help that links students with university tutors. A one-to-many live class was also introduced alongside polls and leaderboards.
As of now, the uLesson app has 2 million downloads with over 12.3 million videos on the platform watched as well as 25.6 million questions answered. Users apparently spend an average amount of 57 minutes on the app, which has made many parents invest in smartphones for their children’s learning, or let them learn with their own phones as done by 50% of uLesson users. uLesson has a premium monthly fee of N7,500 ($18) and a two-year “device+plan” fee of N137,000 ($334).
uLesson is currently available in Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Sierra Leone, UK, US, Liberia, and Gambia. Nigerian users constitute 85% of uLesson’s paying users, making Nigeria uLesson’s largest market till date.
According to uLesson, its paying users increased by 600% in the past year; monthly average users increased 700%, and the average daily users grew by 430% also within the past year.
This recent investment will be used to promote product development, improve its technology and introduce cohort-based learning features. uLesson is also looking to expand its science and mathematics content to include social sciences and financial accounting for secondary school level, as well as qualitative and quantitative reasoning for primary school level.
Regarding this investment, David Frankel, managing partner at Founder Collective shared that he is an “enthusiastic supporter of Shagaya and his vision for more accessible and affordable educational opportunities for millions of people.”