Kenyan edtech startup Craydel, a platform for comparing colleges, course options, and tuition, secured $ 1 million in a pre-seed round that will improve its search and recommendation technology and improve its online resources.
The round was led by Enza Capital, a private venture fund that invests in early-stage tech startups across sub-Saharan Africa. Other well-rounded investors include the Future of Learning Fund, an edtech supporter based in Kenya; BriteGaze, South Africa’s artificial intelligence fund; and Bisk Ventures and Tekton Ventures, both venture capital firms headquartered in Silicon Valley.
Also joined are Kenya-based Chandaria Capital, Nigeria-based LoftyInc Afropreneurs Fund, and a number of other angelic investors including founders and senior executives from leading African SaaS, e-commerce and education startups.
Craydel was launched earlier this year by the co-founders Manish Sardana, John Nguru Other Shayne Aman Premji. He was inspired by the lack of a reliable portal in Africa to guide college and course selection decisions. This offered the trio a window of opportunity to create a platform that would have eliminated this challenge. Through Craydel, the founders said, they are empowering students by providing them with access to a portal that offers verified information about colleges to help them in decision making.
“It is estimated that $ 30 billion is spent on higher education annually in Africa,” said Sardana, CEO of Craydel. “But the current experience of students in accessing higher education is abysmal. There is no aggregation of choices and the decision-making process is influenced by prejudices and disinformation “.
“We are transforming the way students discover, compare and apply higher education in Africa,” he said.
Craydel offers students options at all levels, including online certificate programs, for which they can sign up to test the waters before making a final decision on the careers they want to pursue.
“We believe in the power of young people in Africa to create lasting and transformative change. And Craydel is driven to enable them to access the best educational pathways to unlock their true potential, ”Sardana said.
Premji, Craydel’s chief financial officer, told TechCrunch that the edtech startup also leads students through a career assessment to make sure they are suitable for their chosen program and college. It also guides you on the course application and visa processes.
The startup has so far partnered with over 90 universities and professional institutes in Africa and abroad and currently provides a list of 3,000 higher education programs.
With the new funding, Craydel is ready to embark on a new path to update its search and recommendation engine for better recommendations, as well as create resources that will help students and professionals in decision making.
“This paradox of choice is sometimes not a good thing,” Premji said. “So, we’re building using artificial intelligence in the search and recommendation engine, which is a proprietary technology for us. Through it, students or working professionals will tell us about their interests, grades, budgets. We will also talk about their career aspirations and conduct aptitude assessments. The result of all these evaluations is a curated list of the main potential choices for them. “
The edtech space in Africa is still nascent, but is expected to grow as Internet penetration deepens, connecting more people, and as more students enroll in higher education across the continent.
Spending on education in Africa is expected to rise to $ 740 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 14%, and edtech spending is projected to grow rapidly, reaching $ 57 billion by 2030. Africa’s thriving young population offers an opportunity for growth of companies such as Craydel, with edtech provides solutions for many challenges, including those of accessibility, quality, accessibility and information.
Kenya has several edtech startups, including Kidato, launched last year to offer live lessons for students up to age 18; Eneza Education, which enables learning through mobile technology; Other e-Limu, a literacy app.
“Access to higher education and skills development for Africa’s growing youth population remains fragmented, but is a key cornerstone for our accelerated development,” said Mike Mompi, managing partner of Enza Capital, who will join Craydel’s board of directors.
“Craydel is building the foundations to democratize access to higher education and to support millions of Africans on this curve.”