Nathan Nwachukwu is the co-founder of Klas, an edtech platform that allows anyone to start an online school and deliver live classes.
In this interview with Nairametrics, the 18-year old walks us through how the startup intends to scale with its recently secured angel funding of $130,000 as well as the strategies to navigate through the competitive ground…Excerpt
What informed your choice of business?
I have always been into tech since I was really small. Although I didn’t directly get involved in it, I’ve always been interested. Everything really changed for me after my 15th birthday because that was when I had a tragic accident that made me blind in my right eye. I was out of school for 5 months and during that period I was travelling from place to place trying to fix my eye and that was when this sense came up. I wanted to do something with my life and I took tech very seriously after that.
And also that was when I had the idea for Klas because I was also looking for a way to make quick cash by teaching Physics online as I’ve always been a physics nerd. so the idea came when I was trying to look at how I can deliver live Physics classes at scale and I didn’t really find any platform that help me do that. So that’s where the idea came from and my business idea.
How would the recently secured angel funding ($130,000) help you position for growth?
The 130,000 that is recently secured will be used for 2 things mainly; the first is to really double down on platform innovation. We have a lot to finish in our road map but we are actually almost done. We have built Klas live, our own virtual classroom software to replace Zoom and Google meet in online classes.
We have also built Klas pay and Klas notify, our own marketing tool. Fundamentally, we have built most of what we need to help creators in the world deliver live classes at scale and it’s really exciting.
Then the second thing we want to do with the funding really is to fuel our early growth. We are still in the early stages obviously but we want to see how we can fuel that early growth to be powering up to 80,000 live classes globally in the following months.
Tell us how your platform is helping to solve problems in Nigeria?
First of all, we are a global platform. Our platform is not intended to solve Nigeria’s specific problems but obviously, it would still be able to solve somethings. One of them is providing access to remote education, especially with recurring ASUU strike that keeps students idle for a very long time.
We see a near future in a way where professors and lecturers will be delivering live lectures using our platform. The technology is already there with our platform. it’s just for them to deliver their lecture to their students so that is something that we see solving in Nigeria.
How do you intend to coordinate your teams to drive efficiency considering you have little or no experience with team coordination in the workspace?
I really have no experience at all in teams coordination and workspace. That’s one of the things that is working out great for us because I have no experience it has given me a lot of creative freedom so most time I do things in a new and better way. It allows us to be more creative in the way we work.
For example, the standard way every company operate is to pay salary at the end of the month, but at Klas, we pay salary on the first day of the month it was just something that we switch up because we felt like switching it up.
We may not have experience but I think it is a lot more fun that way because it allows us to get really creative with a lot of things.
What is your value proposition?
Our very proposition mainly is to offer a platform that allows anyone anywhere to share and monetize their knowledge.
There are a lot of people that have something to share to the world but they don’t really go out of their way to make like a prerecorded course with Udemy and the rest because to do that you need to know how to shoot and edit a video and that’s already a barrier to entry and other people don’t just like video courses the want to engage with student
But the platform is giving people that opportunity now to create, monetize and deliver engaging live classes from anywhere in the world and share their knowledge.
It’s something that is needed in the world. The sky is the limit really to just how big Klas can get from communities to brands to creators to educators, there are so many different target market that will be using our platform to teach online.
What is your growth projection in 5 years and plans to achieve such feat?
In the next five years, we want to have expanded globally. By then we want to be helping millions of creators possibly 2-3 million active creators around the world delivering live classes at scale and monetize their knowledge so that’s one thing we want to achieve in the next five years.
We want to become the go-to online teaching platform for anyone that wants to make a living teaching what they love.
How did you meet the co-founder?
I never went to Y Combinator; I actually met my cofounder in the YC marching platform.
YC launch a platform late last year and it’s basically a platform that can help you find co-founders and that was where I met my co-founder. I met him on the first swap it was like a very lucky swap for me and as soon as we met each other there was like this instant bond over a shared vision to build the future of online education.
Knowing that you will be competing with other Edtech, the like uLesson, Altschool, Edukoya, what is your strategy to scaling amid the competition?
In the African sense, we don’t actually see companies like uLesson, Altschool, Edukoya and others as competitors at all. In fact, we see them as potential partners and companies that could complement our own solution.
Like Altschool would need some part of our technology, especially Klas live; they could use our Klas live to deliver their own live lectures to their student, and the same thing with Edukoya. So we don’t really see them as competitors.
How would you assess Nigerian education sector?
Nigeria’s education sector is way behind. There is a lack of innovation, lack of progress even in the edtech sector. It’s like everyone is trying to do the same thing and our edtech companies are more of education companies than technology companies which is something we are trying to change at Klass. We want to take this technology-first approach to solving the online education problem and that’s why we try to position ourselves more as a technology than a education company.
But I feel it’s improving and in a few years that edtech would be the bail out for the education sector for Nigeria.
I feel that remote education is going to be huge especially when internet access is a lot more accessible with more and more people getting phones and laptops. That is the future of the education sector
What more do you expect from the government?
The only thing I expect from government is for the government to give us the room to innovate without any issues. We like to move at light speed and the best thing the government can do for us is to not slow us down. After that, I don’t need anything from the government.