Edves is automating education in Nigeria

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Nigerian academic portal Edves was formed on the back of a phone call from a school director who had lost everything – student enrolment forms, academic results, payment receipts, the lot.

This, plus the realisation that parents lacked a convenient means of tracking the daily, weekly and monthly performance of their children in schools, caused Lagos tech startup ITvessel to declare war on pens and paper.

The result was Edves, an academic portal that automates operations in schools and colleges from admission to transcript generation. The portal allows admission processing with little or no IT Skills, powers both cash and cashless payment methods, is loaded with thousands of e-books, video tutorials and virtual classrooms, and offers one-click result and record generation.

“Many of our clients have lost data to disasters before they joined Edves. We built Edves to protect and manage vital academic information in a proper format,” Dimeji Falana, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of ITvessel, told Disrupt Africa.

With the platform, educators enjoy automated and speedy operation, while schools have access to reliable and affordable data storage. Parents, meanwhile, can track the performance of their children through SMS, email, the web and a mobile app.

The concept has taken off. Self-funded Edves has more than 60,000 users thus far, and has generated and stored more than 80,000 reports. Revenues are also strong, while the startup recently joined the Growth Academy accelerator run by Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) and Intel in Lagos.

Falana says the startup is in Growth Academy as it looks to grow to 100,000 users in Lagos market by 2016. It has already deployed in more than 70, and he expects continued growth as educational institutions realise Edves’ worth.

“The most attractive thing about the portal is the ability to customise it to individual school specification. Schools and colleges now have a portal they can call their own. The theme, logo, computing style, and reporting sheets are delivered based on school specification,” Falana said.

The company is currently raising its Series A, which it expects to close soon, and plans to narrow down on Lagos in 2016.

“We are also deploying to schools and colleges calling us from different parts of the country,” Falana said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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