Nigerian ed-tech startup ScholarX raises $100k in pre-seed round

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Nigerian ed-tech startup ScholarX has raised US$100,000 towards an intended US$200,000 pre-seed funding round to launch new products and grow its team.

Launched in Nigeria in July 2016, the ScholarX app allows users to select parameters and scroll through lists of available scholarships that match their requirements.

The startups has proven popular with a variety of accelerators in the last 18 months or so, having taken part in the global WISE Accelerator and the Cape Town-based Injini ed-tech incubator last year, and being named part of the third Google Launchpad Africa accelerator cohort in March.

It is now also attracting investors, with co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Bola Lawal telling Disrupt Africa ScholarX had raised US$100,000 of a pre-seed round so far, mostly from angel investors. It hopes to secure at least US$200,000 in funding by the end of this month.

“We are primarily raising for our new model, called SkillsFund, which we are ready to run a full pilot of in July,” he said.

“SkillsFund democratises labour-force reconditioning by providing financing to help new entrants – recent graduates – get up-skilled via verified training partners in in-demand skills and then help place them with local employers seeking fresh talent.”

Lawal said the funds raised would also go towards building the startup’s capacity in terms of staff and technology to handle funding, recruitment and placement of successful students in the programme.

ScholarX last rolled out a new product back in 2017 when it launched Village, an education crowdfunding platform that allows African secondary school and university students to create fundraising campaigns for backing by sponsors.

Lawal said the startup’s investors would contribute more than just cash, making their networks available to ScholarX to help it forge strategic partnerships locally and across Africa.

“This means that ScholarX will be positioned to actualise its goal of building an ecosystem around education financing for current students and recent graduates. It means that we won’t just stop at providing scholarships but provide additional training opportunities that will directly lead to jobs for the growing youth population,” he 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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