SA startup GATE Mobile releases education app


South African education startup GATE Mobile has launched its mobile learning solution, aimed at overcoming the ‘content only’ challenge by building in live assessment and competency reporting functionality.

Johannesburg-based GATE Mobile, which is supported by the Microsoft BizSpark programme, launched the solution last week at the Microsoft Head Office in Bryanston.

The additional functionalities of the app – aside from the content – are designed to allow users to learn the material, complete appointed tasks and get tested, with data then sent to the training manager for review. The system can be accessed via a smartphone app, Opera Mini, web browser or Mxit.

“We started off making maths and science videos a number of years ago as we saw a need for accessible educational content that was not only relevant, but engaging,” said GATE managing director Ian McDougall.

“We realised fairly early on that our content had to be mobile accessible if it was going to have any kind of material impact. And so the concept of GATE Mobile was born.”

GATE believes the major benefit of mobile-optimised learning is that it does not matter if users are located in urban or rural areas, at home or at work, for them to learn ubiquitously.

The startup went through more than nine different development cycles in the build phase, regularly having to modify its development to get the required outcome.

“As with all tech startups, one’s development cycles tend to run from pivot to post, and our experience was no different, trying to establish exactly what we set out to achieve,” said GATE managing partner Phillip Steyn.

“We noticed the definite need for a complete solution to mobile training and development. There are just too many one-sided edtech systems in existence – we needed to be different.”

GATE currently offers four main pillars of learning, which include training for high school education, healthcare, agriculture and compliance, while the startup has also formed partnerships with UNICEF and Allegra Software.


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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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