Opinion piece by Khaled Ben Jilani, Senior Partner and a member of the Executive Committee of AfricInvest
Among Africa’s most significant challenges in the next decade is access to quality education, which is obviously one of the most important building blocks to put the continent on a path to development.
But only 6% of children in Sub-Saharan Africa will enroll for tertiary education due to inadequate investments in the sector over the past decades.
We believe that we will only achieve universal access to education in Africa, through the widespread use of digital education and Edtech.
This is why our recent investment in GOMYCODE is a significant move. GOMYCODE helps young Africans develop digital skills, matching them with the needs of African and global companies.
This is a critical problem that GOMYCODE is solving; an estimated 230 million jobs will require digital skills across Africa by 2030, according to a study by the IFC.
That translates to a potential 650 million training opportunities and an estimated $130 billion market over the next 10 years.
Introducing GOMYCODE: revolutionizing access to education in digital skills
Founded by brothers Yahya and Amine in Tunisia in 2017, GOMYCODE is a Tunisian edtech startup democratizing tech education across Africa and the Middle East.
The company offers online and in-person courses in all digital skills from digital marketing and web development to 3D game development and AI, with an emphasis on flexible learning and affordability.
With minimal initial funding of less than US$700k, Yahya, Amine and their team have been able to introduce their highly scalable platform into 8 countries across the continent, training more than 10,000 students to date.
Their vision is to make quality education accessible to people of all ages across the continent and beyond, at an affordable cost, offering quality programs and degrees curated to local needs.
Distinguishing itself from what traditional training centers currently offer, GOMYCODE provides relevant, engaging course content, delivered through an innovative blended and gamified education model.
Videos and live learning are delivered in local dialects at a price point local consumers can afford. Today 80% of GOMYCODE graduates find relevant positions through a job placement program.
The team aims at expanding to 20 African and Middle Eastern countries in the next five years, training more than 100,000 students each year in the process.
GoMYCODE attracts over a thousand new customer sign-ups every month. This is why the team raised $8M at their Series A round led by the Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund (CAIF), together with Proparco.
Empowering the untapped edtech market in Africa
At Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund, we believe in the vast potential of Edtech – on a global scale, and especially in emerging markets. Here’s why.
Today, educational institutions expect around 50% of all daily study hours to be digitized in the near future, however, the share of expenditure on Edtech is only around 5% of total global spending.
There is increasing demand for Edtech solutions – driven by the global digital transformation, skills required for the jobs of the future, and most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic; this presents a $2.7tn Edtech spending gap and a huge opportunity for investment in Edtech solutions.
Worldwide, large-scale Edtechs have emerged to fill this gap. While global Venture Capital investments in Edtech have grown at an incredible rate (11x up from 2014 reaching $20.8bn in 2021), emerging markets have been at the forefront of investments in the sector, notably India, which like Africa, has a young population and great challenges to provide it with the skills they need for the future.
India has produced several success stories – the most famous of which is BYJU’S, a multinational Edtech platform offering a tutoring app for more than 40m users in India. It is the most valued Edtech company in the world and has recently raised $800m at a $22bn valuation.
In 2022, two new Edtech unicorns were minted in India with LEAD School and PhysicsWallah, raising each $100m.
Further, Emeritus, a company that is making high-quality international education accessible to Indians at an affordable price, recently raised $650m, reaching a $3.2bn valuation, quadrupling its valuation from the last funding round.
Altogether, there are now 35 Edtech Unicorns around the world that have collectively raised over $29bn of total funding in the last decade and are now collectively valued at more than $103bn.
In view of the development in emerging markets like India in recent years, we expect a promising future for Edtech in Africa.
The African continent, with its size and especially its demographics, promises tremendous potential for both VC investors and entrepreneurs.
Africa has only just begun to write its own Edtech success story, with GO1 becoming South Africa’s first ‘unicorn’ just last year. Additionally, Andela, which continues to offer learning opportunities through the Andela Learning Community, also attained unicorn status in 2021.
Way forward: our commitment to Edtech in Africa
The Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Team has worked closely with the GOMYCODE team right from their inception, assisting the company with its strategy for pan-African expansion, notably in Egypt and Nigeria.
Utilizing our presence and network of business partners across the continent, CAIF had the pleasure of facilitating introductions with the key players in the education space, helping attract strategic investors for a highly successful Series A funding round, as well as helping with talent acquisition for key positions within the company.
We were also proud to facilitate the provision of computer grants from one of our main investor partners.
As GOMYCODE continues to grow, AfricInvest and Cathay Innovation will be there to lend our expertise and support, realizing our commitment to building a future with the next generation of African Entrepreneurs.
Congratulations to the entire team on the news of their round – we believe this will be the catalyst for more growth and more impact over the coming years.
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