SA e-learning startup iGrow Academy expands to UK, Nigeria

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South African e-learning startup iGrow Academy has continued its international expansion by establishing offices in the United Kingdom (UK) and expanding its offerings to Nigeria.

iGrow Academy provides low-cost online vocational and soft skill courses licensed by South African academic institutions, and last year raised funding from a South African educational institution in order to expand marketing of its online courses.

This saw the company establish a satellite office in Toronto, Canada in September of last year, and chief executive officer (CEO) Jared Koning told Disrupt Africa iGrow Academy has now moved into two other markets.

“Since launching our Toronto-based offices we have had a strong interest from multiple blue-chip companies to provide more tailor-made education specifically focused on corporates to upskill their current workforce with more entry level soft skills to specialised bundle courses for management,” he said.

iGrow has since secured a number of agreements in the UK to strengthen its position as an online soft skills and short course provider for customers, with Koning it now has a unique advantage over its competitors by operating offices in the country.

“In terms of Nigeria we are formulating plans to strengthen our position as a leader in Africa by providing relevant soft skills on a budget of US$20 to entry-level workers,” he said.

“Considering we have identified only two main competitors with a Nigerian population of over 149 million, it makes it extremely favourable to get in early.”

iGrow Academy currently has 11,700 registered paying students on its platform, with Koning saying it expects to hit 25,000 by the end of 2016.

“Since redeveloping our systems and front-end we have seen significant conversions, and sales increasing on a daily basis,” Koning said.

Going forward, the startup is looking at entries into China, Russia and the United States (US) in 2018. It aims to have 100,000 registered students by then.

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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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