Kidato, an online homeschooling company for K-12 students in Africa, has announced that it has closed its Ksh. 151,004,000 ($1.4 million) seed investment. This effort has been backed by Y Combinator, a significant backer of most of the continent’s well-known startups. The investment is intended to grow Kidato’s portfolio.
Investors who were in this funding round include such firms as Launch Africa Ventures Fund, Graph Ventures, Learn Start Capital, and Century Oak Capital, among other angel investors.
Kidato was founded by Kenyan entrepreneur Sam Gichuru in 2020. Like any homeschooling model, Gichuru had teachers come to his house to teach his kids what they’d ordinarily learn in school. But when the pandemic hit, he had to find another alternative by building a platform around Zoom for these teachers to continue delivering lessons for his kids. By September, the platform had opened up to accommodate 10 more children outside his home. In January, the number of students in its learning-from-home program increased to 30 students.
The Y Combinator-backed startup says it now has more than 50 students and still growing. This platform currently attracts students from Kenya, Switzerland, Tanzania, UK, the USA and the United Arab Emirates at Ksh. 539 ($5) per lesson. Kidato wants to make learning fun and gratifying. According to Gichuru, the business trains its 300-plus teachers on how to make classes interactive by using the context of arcade games like Minecraft and Roblox to tailor lessons taught to students in different subjects.
The online learning platform is riding on the fact that most private schools remain shut due to the pandemic, and is thus using its innovations to recruit more teachers and students to its platform.