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Business News

Sim Shagaya’s Edtech startup secures $3.1 million Seed Funding

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Sim Shagaya's Edtech startup secures $3.1 million Seed Funding

Nigerian edtech learning platform, uLesson, has secured a $3.1 million seed funding from TLcom Capital in order to address infrastructure and learning gaps in Africa’s education sector. This is contained in an official press release sent to Nairametrics.

The seed round announced today allows uLesson to take the product to market in West Africa, before looking to develop educational content and a product for the East African market. Targeting secondary school learners across the West African region, uLesson will launch officially in February 2020, having been in development and beta testing for 12 months.

[READ: Konga’s former CEO, Sim Shagaya, establishes a new company ‘uLesson’]

To date, the uLesson has produced over 3,000 richly animated, personalised video learning modules, quizzes and tests that will be available on the uLesson android app, via a subscription model, in Q1 2020.

Speaking on the investment and upcoming launch of uLesson, CEO Sim Shagaya says, “Education systems across Africa are in crisis and uLesson has been developed to radically shake-up the system and bring better access to high-quality curriculum-relevant educational content to learners across the continent. As our population grows extremely rapidly, the current public and private approach to education investment is chasing a goal that is moving further away.

We want to lower the entry point for access to education for young Africans, and technology is the only way this challenge will be met. With this in mind, today is not just an investment in uLesson – it’s an investment in Africa’s future.”

Shagaya concludes, “We work collaboratively, passionately & relentlessly, utilizing every tool available, to deliver high-quality affordable education to all Africans. Education, Financial Inclusion & Health need to be tackled on the continent. Remarkable progress in developing financial products has been made.

Of the other two, Education represents an immediate opportunity that can be addressed with the tools provided by digital technology (smartphones, wireless internet, data storage and analytics). uLesson believes it has a model that can work in substantially addressing these challenges.”

As part of the seed round, Ido Sum and Omobola Johnson, partners in TLcom’s executive team, will join the board alongside former Konga CEO, Shola Adekoya.

Speaking on the investment, Ido Sum adds, “In uLesson, we found a company that fits perfectly with our ethos – an entrepreneur-led startup building affordable, mass-market mobile-first solution tackling one of Africa’s largest challenges. In Sim, we have an entrepreneur with an unrivaled track record in building technology products for Africa. His team is building solutions for a massive opportunity, and we strongly believe they are about to make a serious dent in the education market across the continent.”

[READ: How Sim Shagaya revolutionalised the traditional method of commerce in Nigeria]

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About ULesson 

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Founded by serial entrepreneur and founder of Nigeria’s Konga, Sim Shagaya, uLesson has built the technology to deploy curriculum-relevant content via smartphones that allow learners to use the product without concern for internet limitations and costs. uLesson’s mobile offering rests on three pillars: academics, media & technology and curriculum content are delivered via streaming and SD cards.

The platform allows learners to experience personalised learning, practice tests, region-specific mock tests and assessed performance and progress for students and parents, including rich reporting dashboards for detailed analysis. Tailored towards the WAEC curriculum region (Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia), uLesson’s current content focuses on core subjects of Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology for secondary school students.

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Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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Corporate Press Releases

Finishing 2020 strong, United Capital records double digit growth with profit rising by 61%

Delights shareholders with a proposed dividend of N0.70k per share.

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Foremost Pan-African financial and investment services group, United Capital Plc has announced its audited results for the full year ended December 31, 2020, recording double-digit growth across all its major income lines.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant challenging operating environment, the investment institution leveraged on increased efficiency to deliver an impressive 61 per cent year-on-year growth in profit before tax to N7.95 billion compared with N4.95 billion at the end of 2019; while profit after tax stood at N7.81 billion, showing an increase of 57 per cent above the N4.97 billion it closed in 2019.

United Capital also recorded a 50 percent year-on-year growth in gross earnings to close at N12.87 billion in December 2020, compared to N8.59 billion recorded in the similar period of 2019.

On account of a significant 54 per cent increase in investment in financial assets, United capital’s total assets also rose by 48 per cent to N224.75 billion in the period under review, compared to N150.46 billion recorded at the end of the 2019 financial year; while shareholders’ funds grew to N24.43 billion rising by 25 per cent from 19.59 billion a year earlier.

On the back of the strong performance, the Directors of United Capital have proposed a dividend of 70k per share, amounting to a total of N4.2 billion dividend to be paid upon ratification by shareholders at its forthcoming AGM. The 70k dividend per share, which is higher than the 50k per share declared in 2019, is payable to shareholders whose names appear on the Register of Members at the close of business on March 5, 2021.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, United Capital Plc, Mr. Peter Ashade, expressed delight on the performance, which according to him is cheering news despite the challenges that most companies faced in the year 2020.

He said, “I am pleased to inform all stakeholders that United Capital delivered impressive returns amid the unprecedented environment worsened by the pandemic during the 2020 financial year with remarkable double-digit growth in Revenue, PBT and PAT and solid performance across key business parameters.

“This empowers us to adopt a more positive outlook for the year 2021 as we navigate the tough terrain compounded by a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic among other severe economic challenges,” Ashade noted.

Speaking on its plan for the 2021 financial year, Ashade said, “Despite the tough operating environment, all stakeholder groups can be assured of our commitment to providing best-in-class solutions to diverse client segments and delivering superior returns to shareholders even as we work with regulatory authorities to strengthen the broader financial system as the domestic economy continues on the path to recovery in the year 2021.”

United Capital Plc is a leading Pan-African financial and investment services group, with a mission to provide bespoke and innovative value-added services to its client. The group aims to transform the African continent by providing innovative and creative investment banking solutions to governments, companies, and individuals

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Corporate deals

DEAL: Tangerine Life completes take-over of ARM Life Insurance Plc

Tangerine Life Insurance has concluded the acquisition of ARM Life Plc.

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Tangerine Life Insurance, a subsidiary of Verod Capital Limited has concluded the acquisition of ARM Life Plc.

This is according to a press release issued by the firm’s Head, Brand and Communications, Olabisi Adesokan, seen by Nairametrics.

The merger is expected to consolidate and optimize the unique strengths of both sides, both in the corporate and retail markets, creating a stronger and broader insurance and financial services platform that will be of immense benefits to all.

READ: Buhari reappoints Bala Usman as MD of NPA, reconstitutes the Board

Background of the deal

A decision to complete the acquisition of ARM Life Insurance Plc was reached at Tangerine’s Board Meeting held on 4th of March, 2020, where the provisions of section 131 of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007 was triggered.

Provisions in section 131 of ISA 2007 had empowered Tangerine Life Insurance to takeover ARM Life, following its 77.72% equity stake held in the latter, which translates to 7,392,953,710 ordinary shares.

In lieu of this, a decision to buy-out the remaining stake of 2,180,967,082 ordinary shares at N0.63 was ratified at the Board meeting and subsequently implemented.

READ: Report any employer without Group Life Insurance for employees – PenCom

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What they are saying

Commenting on the rationale behind the deal, the Managing Director of Tangerine Life, Livingstone Magorimbo said: “Integrating the businesses has presented us a tremendous opportunity to enhance our capabilities, improve operating efficiencies and grow our businesses.

“At Tangerine Life, we will continue to innovate, drive positive change within the insurance industry and create tremendous value for our customers towards effectively positioning our business to stay ahead of the next wave of industry evolution.”

On the other hand, a former Managing Director at ARM Life, Stephen Alangbo added that: “Innovation is paramount in ensuring customer satisfaction in today’s business landscape. We believe that the combination of both entities will ensure exceptional value creation for existing and new customers and partner.”

What you should know

  • According to the press release, the merger places Tangerine Life as the 4th largest life insurer in Nigeria and position it for future growth.
  • Tangerine Life Insurance Limited, formerly known as Metropolitan Life Insurance Nigeria Limited was incorporated on 19 August 2004 and licensed by NAICOM on 14 February 2007. It is principally engaged in the provision of group life, credit life and individual life products to over 12,000 blue-chip corporate and retail clients.
  • The Company is majorly owned by Oreon LMS Limited, a subsidiary of Verod Capital Growth Fund II, a US$115 Million private equity fund managed by Verod Capital Management Limited.

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