After seven years in electronic gadget manufacturing, under his company Imose Technologies, Osayi Izedonmwen took leave to explore an idea he’d been toying with for a while: an edtech startup, Teesas, which now offers video lessons and other digital educational materials. for students in Nigeria.
Launched less than two months ago, Teesas got off to a fast start, leading to a successful $1.6 million pre-seed financing round. Izedonmwen plans to use the investment to expand into new markets, launch a marketplace that will match students with teachers for private lessons, and expand the product range in its portfolio.
“We started beta testing around August this year and fully launched the Android version in November. Teesas already has over 150,000 downloads on the Google Play Store, where we are now growing by at least 20% each week,” Izedonmwen told BestFitnessBands.
Teesas’ content is aligned with Nigeria’s national curriculum and is delivered to students in both live and recorded formats, through a subscription program that starts at $6 per month. In addition to regular schoolwork, the startup also offers local language lessons.
“Live lessons are about concepts where students have challenges. The students sit with teachers in small classes of 10 or 15 at a distance for a personal involvement and to get more rigor in the teaching process,” said Izedonmwen.
In the near future, Teesas will offer full curriculum modules for students up to the age of 12.
“We envision a future where children don’t have to take in-person classes because they can cover full curricula in an app and be ready enough for their high school entrance exams,” he said.
Teesas will also introduce life skills classes in the first half of next year to prepare students for self-discovery. This is in addition to anti-bullying lessons, inspired by reports of an increasing wave of bullying in Nigeria, with some incidents resulting in death.
Work on Teesas began in March last year, with the platform’s design and development borrowing heavily from its edtech peers in India, who were used as benchmarks for content structure and lesson delivery.
“I looked at India because they are very advanced and some big companies like Byju are leading the edtech revolution. I even went there to spend some time to really understand the model, and also looked at opportunities to improve what they were doing…
The adaptation he refers to involves the use of local art, food, animals, cultural practices and languages to complement the learning process.
While Izedonmwen is now fully involved with Teesas, where he is the CEO, he also continues to serve as chairman of Imose Technologies, the Lagos-based technology company he founded to manufacture electronic devices including mobile phones, tablets, internet routers and laptops.
“Teesas will have the biggest impact on the future of education in Africa. And I really want to make sure I’m doing my best to lead that transformation – that’s why I’m fully focused on it,” he said, confirming that part of their next plan will be to enter new markets in French. , Eastern and Southern Africa.
Before founding Imose, Izedonmwen, a trained engineer, spent 15 years at the oil and gas company ExxonMobil, where he rose to become the company’s operations manager in Nigeria.
Teesas now joins a growing list of edtech startups in Africa that have recently received funding from investors betting on Africa’s fledgling edtech industry — which has recently seen a resurgence driven by the covid tailwind. pandemic.
Among the new players in the space are Kidato and Craydel from Kenya and Edukoya and Ulesson from Nigeria.
The Teesas round was led by Haresh Aswani, Africa director of the Tolaram Group, with the participation of Olivegreen Advisory Partners, an Africa-focused venture studio and other angel investors.
“We believe in the mission set out by Izedonmwen and the Teesas team, and we believe they are best suited to meet the challenge of using technology to improve access to quality education across Africa,” said Aswani.