After seven years in the production of electronic gadgets, under his company Imose Technologies, Osayi Izedonmwen took leave to explore an idea that he had toyed with for some time — an edtech startup, Teesas, which now offers video classes and other digital educational material for learners in Nigeria.
Details about Teesas funding round
Teesas, which was launched less than two months ago. It has had a rapid takeoff, leading to a successful $1.6 million pre-seed funding round. Izedonmwen plans to use the investment to expand into new markets. Furthermore, he wants to launch a marketplace that will link learners with tutors for private lessons. And expand the range of products in its portfolio.
“We started beta testing around August this year and fully launched the android version in November. Already Teesas has over 150,000 downloads at the Google Play store, where we are now growing by at least 20% every week,” Izedonmwen said.
Teesas’ content is aligned with Nigeria’s national curriculum. It is delivered to learners in both live and recorded formats, through a subscription program that starts at $6 a month. In addition to regular school work, the startup also offers local language classes.
“Live classes deal with concepts where learners have challenges. The learners sit with teachers in small remote classes of 10 or 15 for a personalized engagement, and to get more rigor into the teaching process,” said Izedonmwen.
In the near future, Teesas will offer full-curriculum modules for learners aged up to 12 years.
“We foresee a future where kids don’t have to attend in-person classes because they can cover entire curriculums on an app, and be ready enough for their secondary school entrance exams,” he said.
Teesas is also set to introduce life-skill classes in the first half of next year to prepare learners for self-discovery. This is in addition to anti-bullying lessons, inspired by the reports of an increasing spate of bullying in Nigeria, with some incidents leading to death.
Work on Teesas began in March last year. The platform’s design and development borrowed heavily from its edtech peers in India. These were used as benchmarks for content structure and lesson delivery.
“I was looking at India because they are really advanced, and have some big companies like Byju leading the edtech revolution. I actually went out there to spend some time to really understand the model. And also looked at opportunities to improve on what they were doing…then we applied indigenous adaptation,” he said.
The adaptation he refers to includes the use of local art, food, animals, cultural practices, and languages to complement the learning process.
Izedonmwen is now fully engaged with Teesas, where he is the CEO. He also continues to serve as the chairman of Imose Technologies, the Lagos-based tech company. He founded it to manufacture and assemble electronic devices including mobile phones, tablets, internet routers, and laptops.
Teesas now joins a growing list of edtech startups in Africa. Those that have in recent times received funding from investors making a bet on the fledgling edtech industry in Africa. This industry has recently seen an upsurge driven by the tailwinds of the covid pandemic.
Among the new players in the space are Kenya’s Kidato and Craydel, and Nigeria’s Edukoya and ULesson.
Teesas round was led by Haresh Aswani, Tolaram Group’s Africa managing director. With the participation of Olivegreen Advisory Partners, an Africa-focused venture studio, and other angel investors.
“We believe in the mission Izedonmwen and the Teesas team has set forth on. And we are confident that they are best suited to crack the challenge of using technology to enhance access to quality education across Africa,” said Aswani.