SA ed-tech startup d6 targets global growth after securing funding from local VCs

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South African school management and communication startup d6 has raised an undisclosed funding round from a group of local VC companies, and is now targeting global growth.

Founded in 2017, d6 has developed ed-tech solutions consisting of a comprehensive communication and payment facilitation solution between a school, parents and learners, and a fully integrated cloud-based school administration, curriculum and finance system.

Together these products support more than 2,800 schools throughout South Africa and abroad, and the startup has now raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Knife Capital, Hlayisani Capital and NuState Ventures to help it with further international expansion.

“We are extremely excited about our new investors because of their proven track record and ability to support tech businesses to scale internationally. We have a strong market footprint and technology foundation and with this new strategic investment support, we are now able to pursue our local, as well as international growth aspirations,” said Willem Kitshoff, chief executive officer (CEO) at d6.

“The d6 mobile application enables around one million parents to stay up to date with school- related matters. 

“Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Kitshoff. “The chat apps typically used within friendship groups don’t provide for the sophistication and security required for a school environment.”

“Alignment of shareholder interest behind a motivated entrepreneurial team is a critical strategic building block for creating value and Knife Capital is delighted to partner with these credible investors. We liked that d6 wasn’t dependent on the investment from a cash flow runway perspective, but the funds will enable them to scale more rapidly. This is a high-growth business with an amazing product, recurring revenue and a huge addressable market,” said Keet van Zyl, co-founder of Knife Capital. 

“We were also impressed by the team culture and work ethic. The Kitshoffs and the broader d6 team embody humility, professionalism and a fierce passion for improving education through innovation and technological enablement. The d6 solution simplifies managerial complexity which is pivotal for improving education, with the return on investment delivered while improving lives.”

Brett Commaille, a partner at Hlayisani Capital, said South African expenditure per capita on education was far higher than that of similar countries, yet the country had some of the worst education outcomes. 

“We need funding to be directed wisely. Part of the solution is to invest in platforms and technology that meaningfully improves the educational ecosystem to produce quality education for our learners,” he said.

“The d6 team’s in-depth understanding of what schools need and the challenges they face, combined with an exceptional track record in delivering solutions to education organisations, make this a formidable company. We believe d6, through thought leading insights and providing market relevant solutions, will propel schools, and the ed-tech market, forward.”

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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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