[Transcript] #21: uLesson - How the EdTech platform is bridging the educational gap across Nigeria & Anglophone Africa
Recorded Jan 24, 2021
Hello! Bankole here.
I’m excited to share the transcript of our uLesson episode! For those who haven’t listened yet, uLesson is an edtech company that helps students across all levels learn through the internet.
When we recorded this, edtech globally was enjoying the benefits of a “Covid bump”. Fundraising seemed straightforward and companies in this space were sprouting and being acquired in similar emerging markets. uLesson went on to raise a $15M Series B in Dec 2021.
Most interesting though is uLesson’s push into tertiary education. They secured a license for Miva, an online university. Unlike their existing programs, this is a licensed degree awarding institution in its own right. Miva plans to provide undergraduate degrees in programs like Computer Science, Economics and more. On one hand, the customer segment is a big shift from their previous focus, however, one can argue the problems are the same. People want to learn, and the internet can help them to do so cheaply.
Time will tell if uLesson can do this profitably. Depending on the discipline, there isn’t a meaningful gap between free and paid online content. Perhaps competitive pricing and combining an online approach with human interaction (e.g., homework coaches) can be the differentiator.
uLesson has come a long way from delivering memory cards with videos to students. Miva’s first cohort resumed in October 2023 and I’ll be watching closely and wishing them success. Without education, Africa’s demographic dividend is a ticking time bomb.
You can listen to the full episode here, and paying subscribers can access the transcript below.
[00:00:00] Olumide Ogunsanwo: Welcome to Afrobility, a conversation about African business and technology. Today, we're going to talk about uLesson, the African ed tech platform that launched at the end of 2019. We'll start with some context about the educational system in Africa and Nigeria. We will talk about uLesson's early history, fundraising, and product strategy, and then we'll end with our views on its future outlook.
[00:00:21] Olumide Ogunsanwo: This episode was recorded on January 24th, 2021. BRM how goes it?
[00:00:27] Bankole Makanju: good. I like BRM. It's not like DRM worse. I'm good.
[00:00:32] Olumide Ogunsanwo: I'm good. How are you? I love how you never explain where these nicknames come from. Like shouldn't we explain it?