Kenyan e-learning startup Eneza Education has received an undisclosed amount of funding from the Safaricom Spark Venture Fund, becoming the third investee of the US$1 million fund.
Launched in 2012, Eneza Education uses low-cost mobile technology to give users educational lessons and assessments using SMS, web and Android platforms. Earlier this year, the startup revealed it had surpassed the one million user mark.
Safaricom this week announced it has selected Eneza Education as the third recipient of funding through the US$1 million Spark Venture Fund; which was launched in late 2014, with the aim of supporting mobile ICT startups in Kenya, and enabling the development of innovative mobile solutions. Funding is provided in the form of equity investment, or convertible debt.
Eneza Education said the funding will enable it to scale to more users and more locations; with the app currently already available in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Benin and Iraq.
The startup also received funding earlier this year from the social venture fund set up by Global Partnerships and the Eleos Foundation.
“We believe in the power of the mobile phone in extending access to learners so they can realize their full potential. The additional investment will go a long way in enabling us reach more learners in countries where we already operate and in expanding to more countries,” said Kago Kagichiri, chief executive officer (CEO) of Eneza Education.
The startup has a long-standing relationship with Kenya’s dominant operator; which it has partnered with previously for the roll out of Shupavu 291, a revision study tool that works through SMS and USSD.
“We believe that the mobile phone has the power to exponentially increase access to critical services such as education. Our partnership with Eneza has already seen us transform the lives of several children in Kenya; the funding we are unveiling today through the Spark Fund will provide them with the money they need to reach more children across the world,” said Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom.
The Safaricom Spark Venture Fund initially launched for a period of two years – which would run to the end of this year. Eneza Education is the third recipient of the Fund. The first investee was on-demand package delivery startup Sendy; the second mobile research tool mSurvey. The amounts of funding provided have not been disclosed; however the Fund said individual investments range between US$75,000 and US$250,000.