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uLesson: Nigeria’s EdTech Startup Secures $7.5M Series A Round Led by Owl Ventures

ulesson

Nigeria’s edtech company, uLesson, reports it has raised US$7.5 million in a series A round. The startup specializes in selling curriculum through SD cards to students. Owl Ventures led the latest round of investment with participation from LocalGlobe, TLcom Capital and Founder Collective.

uLesson in November 2019, raised US$3.1 million seed funding but this significant rise in investment has to do with the necessity of the situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

uLesson app on Google PlayStore and Apple Store

The edtech startup launched a few weeks before the WHO (World Health Organization) declared coronavirus as global pandemic. Since physical classroom education came to a halt, uLesson got into action by delivering content through SD cards as low-bandwith especially when smart devices were now being used more at homes to enable distant learning.

According to Sim Shagaya, the founder and CEO of the edtech startup, this crisis rather brought a whole lot of opportunity for the company to thrive and helped to offer products that were really difficult offering offline.

An class in session

Users pay just $50 per year and there have been more than a million downloads. And thanks to this new normal in education, demand for uLesson’s services have gone up, making it evolve into a live, online platform.

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The CEO thinks that Africa has become a good opportunity for the edtech industry because of its young population and rising private school going students.

As observed, the major challenge for this company and those others in the edtech industry in Africa is distribution and outcomes. This was expressed in an interview with TechCrunch, where Shagaya said that “Content efforts and products live or die at the altar of distribution.”

We also understand that for them to continue delivering, uLesson is trying to find the perfect source of videos in markets around Africa and embed those into their product offerings.

The number one (1) learning platform in Africa currently operates in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.


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Funding

Curacel: Insurtech Startup Secures $450K Pre-seed Funding Led by Atlantica Ventures & Consonance

Curacel

The insurtech startup, Curacel, an AI-powered platform for claims processing and fraud management in Africa, reports that it has raised $450,000 pre-seed funding in a round that was led by Atlantica Ventures and Consonance with participation from Kepple Ventures and other African angel investors.

The new investment will be used to accelerate Curacel’s expansion across Africa and facilitate the goal of becoming Africa’s premier provider of embedded finance technology for insurance.

The insurtech startup already works with some of the biggest insurers on the continent, including AXA Mansard, Liberty Health and Old Mutual, as well as more than 800 hospitals in Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. It plans to expand into 10 new African countries by the end of 2021.

Every year, African insurers lose more than $12 billion to fraudulent, wasteful, and abusive claims. Curacel’s flagship CLAIMS platform acts as a bridge between primary care hospitals and Africa’s insurance companies, using advanced artificial intelligence to ensure that insurance companies only pay claims for the correct treatment, appropriate medications and recommended patient therapies. 

Curacel

Curacel is also scheduled to launch Curacel Capital, a cash advance product that makes it easier for healthcare providers to access working capital to mitigate financial challenges. Delayed payments and other inefficiencies in the payment process means many African healthcare providers often have to make the difficult choice between keeping the books balanced or providing healthcare at a loss. With Curacel Capital, healthcare providers can access lump sums of up to three times their average monthly billings, based on claims processed on the Curacel portal, ensuring that they can continue to deliver essential services without undue disruption.

SEE ALSO |  Cowrywise, Nigeria's Wealthtech Startup Secures US$3M to Hire Top Talents

With insurance penetration at just 2.8% across the continent, many Africans are one accident or health emergency away from poverty. And in Africa’s communal societies, tragedy impacts entire communities, with people emptying their savings to pay for medical expenses, burials or other disaster relief for family members and kin. By leveraging Curacel’s products and services, insurers across the continent are better equipped to close the insurance gap and safeguard prosperity. 

According to Curacel Co-founder and CEO, Henry Mascot, in a press statement said,

“We are excited to have these investors on board and we are looking forward to partnering with them to drive our vision of improving insurance inclusion across Africa.”

At Curacel he shares, they are uniquely positioned to safeguard livelihoods and increase the quality of life through their unique, market-leading products and services. 

IK Kanu, Partner at Atlantica Ventures noted that,

“The African insurance market represents a significant growth opportunity and we are delighted to be partnering with Curacel to drive growth in this sector. There is an opportunity to create an entirely new market of products and services here and we look forward to supporting the team to improve health outcomes across the continent.” 

Finally, Mobolaji Adeoye, the Managing Partner at Consonance adds that they believe the Curacel team has what it takes to be market leaders and are therefore excited to support them. Also stressing that they have a great product and equally delighted to be coming onboard at this early stage of their growth.

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