Kibo School, a Nigerian edtech startup, has raised a $2 million seed funding led by Neo, a VC firm by the co-founder of Code.org. Future Africa, Pledges, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Transcend Network and several angel investors also participated in the round. The new funding brings the total capital raised by the startup to $2.4m after last year’s pre-seed round.
The new investment would enable the online school to offer several STEM degree programs targeted at students in Africa.
Founded in 2021 by Ope Bukola, Kibo School is an online university that provides high-quality degrees and access to skills and networks. The company combines the flexibility of self-paced learning with an engaging community of tutors and peers to unlock deeper knowledge acquisition, motivation, and accountability. She was joined by Keno Omu and Rob Cobb to launch the Kibo School.
“There are so many young people getting into the technology workforce, and I really think the continent could be the place for young technologists, if only our education system was up to the task. Our mission at Kibo is to provide a better alternative to traditional education,” said Bukola, who is also the CEO of Kibo.
“The primary goal for the seed round is to get the degree program off the ground. We have been doing these short classes, and we’re going to keep doing them and going through the process of applying for accreditation. But our primary focus now is bringing in students for our degree programs,” she said, adding that through the short courses launched last year, the school has trained 400 students in 13 countries in Africa.
The focus on STEM was validated when Kibo won the GSV Cup, one of the largest edtech pitch competitions globally, in April this year.
“The future of global talent is African. We’re the youngest and the fastest-growing continent. So, if you want to solve the world’s future problems, literally the young people are going to be in Africa. This is not just a charitable thing, it’s just a practical thing because Africa is where the opportunity for growth is,” she said.
Kibo has opened up the program to students in six cities across Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana, and those enrolled will be required to live at least 100 kilometers from these cities, to make it easy for occasional meet-ups. The school plans to introduce more programs and to take in new students every quarter, starting next year.
“It’s an online degree, but we have target cities because it’s still really important to help students build community. So, in every city where we’re enrolling students, there’s going to be an advisor on the ground, who will organize meet-ups every month,” said Bukola.