Nigerian edtech startup Teesas secures $ 1.6 million in pre-seed round to launch tutor market and expand in East, Southern and Francophone Africa in 2022
After seven years in the production of electronic gadgets, at his company Imose Technologies, Osayi Izedonmwen took time off to explore an idea he had been fondling for some time – an edtech startup, Teesas, which now offers video and digital lessons. other digital learning materials for learners in Nigeria.
Teesas, which launched less than two months ago, has seen a rapid take-off, leading to a successful $ 1.6 million pre-seed funding round. Izedonmwen plans to use the investment to expand into new markets, launch a market that will match learners with tutors for private lessons, and expand the product line of its portfolio.
âWe started beta testing around August of this year and fully launched the Android version in November. Teesas already has over 150,000 downloads from the Google Play Store, where we are now increasing by at least 20% every week, âIzedonmwen told TechCrunch.
Teesas content is aligned with Nigeria’s National Curriculum and is offered to learners live and in recorded format, through a subscription program that starts at $ 6 per month. In addition to regular schoolwork, the startup also offers local language lessons.
âLive lessons deal with concepts where learners have challenges. Learners sit with teachers in small classes 10 or 15 apart for personalized engagement and to get more rigor in the teaching process, âsaid Izedonmwen.
In the near future, Teesas will offer full modules for learners up to 12 years old.
âWe envision a future where kids won’t have to attend classes in person because they can cover entire programs on one app and be ready enough for their high school entrance exams,â he said.
Teesas is also set to introduce life skills classes in the first semester of next year to prepare learners for self-discovery. This is in addition to anti-harassment lessons, inspired by reports of a growing wave of harassment in Nigeria, with some incidents resulting in death.
Work on Teesas began in March of last year, with the platform’s design and development borrowing heavily from its edtech peers in India, who were used as benchmarks for the content structure and delivery of the courses.
âI was looking at India because it is really advanced and there are big companies like Byju leading the edtech revolution. I actually went there to spend some time really understanding the model, and also looked at opportunities to improve on what they were doingâ¦ then we applied the aboriginal adaptation, âhe said. he declares.
The adaptation he refers to includes the use of local art, food, animals, cultural practices, and languages ââto complement the learning process.
Although Izedonmwen is now fully engaged with Teesas, of which he is the CEO, he also continues to be the President of Imose Technologies, the Lagos-based technology company he founded to manufacture and assemble electronic devices, including cell phones, tablets, Internet routers and laptops.
âTeesas is going to have the biggest impact on the future of education in Africa. And I really want to be certain that I do my best to lead this transformation – that’s why I’m focusing fully on it, âhe said while confirming that part of their next plan will be to move on. new French-speaking markets, East and Southern Africa.
Prior to founding Imose, Izedonmwen, an engineer by training, worked for 15 years at the oil and gas company ExxonMobil, rising through the ranks to become the company’s operations manager in Nigeria.
Teesas now joins a growing list of edtech startups in Africa that have recently received funding from investors betting on the fledgling edtech industry in Africa – which has recently seen a surge driven by the tailwinds of the covid pandemic.
New space players include Kenyans Kidato and Craydel, and Nigerians Edukoya and ULesson.
The Teesas round was led by Haresh Aswani, Managing Director Africa of the Tolaram Group, with participation from Olivegreen Advisory Partners, an Africa-focused venture capital studio, and other angel investors.
âWe believe in the mission that Izedonmwen and the team at Teesas have set for themselves, and we are confident that they are best placed to meet the challenge of using technology to improve access to quality education in across Africa, âAswani said.