Nigerian Teesas earns $1.6M, to expand across Africa and launch tutoring – TechCrunch

After seven years of manufacturing electronic devices, under his company Imose Technologies, Osayi Izedonmwen took a sabbatical to explore an idea he’d been challenging for a while – an edtech startup, Teesas, now offers video classes and other digital educational materials to learners in Nigeria.

Teesas, which launched less than two months ago, has grown rapidly, leading to a successful $1.6 million pre-seed funding round. Izedonmwen plans to use the investment to expand into new markets, launch a marketplace that links learners to tutors for private lessons, and expand the range of products in its portfolio.

“We started beta testing around August of this year and launched the full Android version in November. Teesas now has more than 150,000 downloads at the Google Play store, where we are currently growing the least. 20% per week,” Izedonmwen told TechCrunch.

Teesas content aligns with Nigeria’s national curriculum and is offered to learners in both live and recorded formats, through a subscription program starting at $6 a month. In addition to the usual school work, the startup also offers vernacular classes.

“Live classes address concepts that challenge learners. Learners sit with teachers in small remote classes of 10 or 15 for personalized engagement and more seriousness in the teaching process, says Izedonmwen.

In the near future, Teesas will offer full program modules for learners aged 12 and under.

“We foresee a future where children don’t have to attend face-to-face classes because they can cover the entire curriculum on one app and be ready for the basic high school entrance exams,” he said. their headquarters.

Teesas is also set to introduce life skills classes in the first half of next year to prepare learners for self-discovery. This complements anti-bullying lessons, inspired by reports of increasing bullying in Nigeria, with some resulting in death.

Part of Teesas’ next plan is to open up the tutoring market and break into new markets in Francophone, Eastern and Southern Africa.. Image credits: Teesas

Product development

Work on Teesas began last March, with the design and development of the platform borrowing heavily from its edtech peers in India, used as a benchmark for content structure and distribution lesson.

“I was looking at India because they are really advanced and have some big companies like Byju leads the edtech revolution. I actually went out there to spend some time to really understand the model, and also look at the opportunities to improve what they’re doing… then we applied the native adaptation approach, “I said.

The adaptations he refers to include the use of local art, food, animals, cultural practices, and languages ​​to complement the learning process.

While Izedonmwen is currently fully attached to Teesas, where he is CEO, he also continues to serve as president of Imose Technologies, the Lagos-based technology company he founded to manufactures and assembles electronic devices including mobile phones, tablets, internet routers and laptops.

“Teesas will have the biggest impact on the future of education in Africa. And I really want to make sure I’m doing my best to lead that transition – that’s why I’m focusing entirely on it,” he said while confirming that part of the plan Their next plan will be to penetrate new markets in French, East and South Africa.

Prior to founding Imose, Izedonmwen, a trained engineer, worked at oil and gas company ExxonMobil for 15 years, rising through the ranks to become the company’s director of operations in Nigeria.

Teesas has now joined the growing list of edtech startups in Africa, which have recently received funding from investors betting on the nascent edtech industry in Africa – almost This has seen a resurgence as a result of the covid pandemic.

Among the new players in space is Kenya Kidato and Craydeland of Nigeria Edukoya and ULesson.

The Teesas round was led by Haresh Aswani, Tolaram Group’s Africa managing director, with participation from Olivegreen Advisory Partners, an Africa-focused venture studio, and other angel investors.

“We believe in the mission set forth by Izedonmwen and the Teesas team, and we are confident they are best suited to overcome the challenge of using technology to increase access to education,” Aswani said. quality education across Africa.

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