South African EdTech startup Syafunda raises $140k

May 25, 2020

Syafunda, a South African EdTech startup raises $140k from SME venture capital firm Edge Growth to fund regional expansion

South African EdTech startup Syafunda raises $140k

South African EdTech startup Syafunda has raised $140k in SME funding from Edge Growth.  The investment will enable Syafunda (‘we are learning’ in Zulu) to cope with the surge in demand for online learning which has resulted from the Covid-19 outbreak.  This will include launching an online bookstore so students can rent textbooks and increasing its workforce.  Previous investments in Syafunda have amounted to over $150,000.

Founded in 2013 and based in Durban, Syafunda currently works with 57 schools, 1689 teachers and almost 48,000 students.  Through partnerships with local developers and publishers, Syafunda establishes digital libraries in locations with limited wireless connectivity.  Students can access pre-loaded content using mobile phones by accessing a hotspot.

The educational content includes a variety of open source textbooks and is targeted at high school and post-high students with a focus on STEM subjects, entrepreneurship, digital skills and financial literacy.

“ I wanted to solve those challenges and provide digital access for high school and post-high school students. Syafunda is positioned to reach pupils in under-serviced communities throughout South Africa ” Zakheni Ngubo, Founder, Syafunda

The investment from Edge Growth is for an initial period of 5 years and is part of its SME Growth Support service.  It aims to help Syafunda develop both short and long term plans and gain access to the wider South African market.

“ The strength of the operations and development teams shows in the quality of the innovation in the free-to-access Syafunda Digital Library. Ultimately, we believe that learners will improve the likelihood of entry into higher learning institutions and training/tertiary institutions ” Vuyiswa Nzimande, Associate Principal, Edge Growth

You can learn more about Syafunda by following this link: https://syafunda.co.za/