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Nigeria’s AltSchool Raises $1M Fund to Train Software Engineers Across Africa

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Altschool

A tech training school in Nigeria, AltSchool has raised $1 million in pre-seed funding to train more students in technical and software skills training.

The training is centered on equipping students from different countries in Africa with marketable digital skills in order to step up the standard of living of the people. 

Investors King reports that AltSchool is an online school with a curriculum to train non-technical people, endowing them with technical and soft skills. They also partner with higher institutions to provide diploma certificates.

The online tech hub was founded by Adewale Yusuf, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), alongside Akintunde Sultan and Opeyemi Awoyemi.

More than 8,000 people have applied for AltSchool’s software engineering programme which starts in April with a fee of ₦10,000, almost $20. These applications came from 19 countries (including 14 African countries) with most entries from Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and Botswana.

Giving the highlights of the programme, Yusuf said the applicants will be provided with a home study kit in preparation for an assessment test. 

He continued, “those admitted into the school, meeting a pass mark of 85%, will take a software engineering course with three tracks: frontend engineering, backend engineering and cloud engineering. In the one-year programme, students take classes for nine months – three semesters, followed by a three-month internship at local tech companies to gain experience.

“Those who do not get admitted into its programme are not left out. AltSchool gives them access to the platform’s first-semester content for free and practice. If they stick to the end of the three-month curriculum, AltSchool will provide avenues for them to complete the entire nine-month programme.”

Explaining the essence of the training, Yusuf noted that the AltSchool is set to boost the economy by providing useful tech skills to students regardless of their qualifications.

He said, “You might need a BSc if you want to be a doctor or nurse and some of these other skills. But when it comes to being a software engineer or digital skills, you really don’t.

“We need to find a shortcut for people, whereby they will be able to make money and provide for their family and add value to the economy. That’s one of the reasons we launched AltSchool because if a lot of people can have marketable skills, then I think we can solve a massive problem in the market.”

The CEO further revealed that the AltSchool will use the funds raised “to build its content and curriculum, technology infrastructure and community concept, where students will meet offline to network and learn together.”

With Nigeria’s large population and increasing unemployment rate amongst the large number of graduates that are launched out each year, Yusuf expressed optimism that the digital skills of his training hub will go far in helping the situation.

He added that the traditional schooling system is insufficient to get university graduates decent jobs.

Investors King recalls that in 2020, the CEO with his team embarked on building a physical campus to train software engineers and open them up to international opportunities. He consulted major stakeholders and sourced for assistance in tertiary institutions but it didn’t work out as planned.

After much research, Yusuf resolved to embrace a remote-centric approach to make his idea and goals materialise.

The AltSchool team scales on sister-company and Techstars-backed TalentQL, launching products such as Pipeline, to train mid-level engineers to become senior engineers. The firm is also working on B2B partnerships with private schools in Nigeria and Africa, using AltSchool’s curriculum in their classes.

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Fund Raising

Proptech Startup SmallSmall Announces The Raise of $3m in Seed Funding

Lagos-based Nigerian prop-tech startup SmallSmall has announced the raise of $3 million ($2 million equity and $1 million debt) in seed funding.

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SmallSmall

Lagos-based Nigerian prop-tech startup SmallSmall has announced the raise of $3 million ($2 million equity and $1 million debt) in seed funding.

Formerly known as RentSmallSmall, the startup gives renters access to monthly rent payments while eliminating the pain points of landlords.

Speaking on the recent funds raised the startup co-founder Tunde Balogun said, “We started by understanding the pain points of landlords. Even though they collected rent one year upfront, the default rate of the yearly system is very high because when people’s finances take a hit, they might not be able to pay subsequent rent.

“The legal process of evicting tenants where they’ll have to wait six to 12 months is also not supportive of the landlords. “Our market is for young professionals with an average age of around 28 years. It’s a huge market.

“We surveyed almost 3,000 people last year in Lagos, which showed that 80% of them wanted to pay their rent monthly. So that tells you how much adoption the monthly space would have if the markets eventually opened up.”

He further disclosed that the fund will be used to expand the startup operations to other cities in Nigeria, such as Enugu, Jos and Portharcourt before the end of Q1 2023.

Founded in 2018, the startup has been leveraging technology to revolutionize Nigeria’s property rental market and has so far had over 476,000 people registered on the platform.

It has also saved renters from legal and agency fees, which has seen it transcend into one of the leading advocates for affordable and flexible rental payment platforms across West Africa.

SmallSmall has also enabled landlords to access quality tenants and help curb defaults of payments.

In 2021, the startup was accepted to join the techstars Toronto accelerator program, making it the first African property technology platform selected to join the program. 

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Fintech Startup Money Fellows Raises $31 M in Funding, Plans to Diversify Portfolio

Egyptian-based fintech startup Money fellows have raised $31 million in its latest series B funding round

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Money Fellows

Egyptian-based fintech startup Money fellows have raised $31 million in its latest series B funding round.

The funding round was led by Commerce ventures, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), and Arzan Venture, as well as funds from National Investment Company (NIC), Invenfin, Sawari Ventures, Existing investors Partech, 4DX, and P1Ventures who also invested in the round.

According to the startup, the fund will enable it to diversify its portfolio, expand its product offerings across the B2C & B2B segments and also expand other markets in Africa and Asia.

Speaking on the success of the fundraising, the CEO and founder of Money Fellows Ahmed Wadi said, “We are proud to share with our stakeholders and users the progress and growth which led Money Fellows to become one of the market-leading fintechs in Egypt, facilitating financial inclusion and digital transformation in the country.

“We wouldn’t have reached such an important funding milestone without the firm backing of our existing investors who understand and support the company’s vision as well as the perseverance and belief of our new partners in the company and the team’s ability to execute.

“The support we received from leading local and global venture capital firms in times of instability and scarcity of growth capital rounds is a testament to their faith and confidence in our business model, our team, and the overall opportunity that lies in the Egyptian market”.

Money fellows is a collaborative Group lending and savings platform. The app is aimed to connect people who are on the lookout for money circles but do not know each other.

Basically, the fintech startup digitized the traditional informal offline ROSCA (Rotating Savings and Credit Association) model that enables users to meet their financial needs.

The ROSCA model is currently in over 90 countries worldwide, with a variety of names, such as ‘Chit funds’ in India, ‘Gam’eya’ in the Arab world, ‘Committees’ in Pakistan, and ‘Tandas’ in Mexico.

MoneyFellows has so far racked up more than 500,000 users, with 200,000 active users. The startup revenue has been growing between 35 and 45 percent on a month-on-month basis.

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Moove Secures £15 Million Fund, Set to Scale up to 10,000 Vehicles by 2025

Moove, has raised £15 million fund from Emso Asset Management as it plans to scale up its operation in the U.K.

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Moove

Global mobility firm that provides revenue-based vehicle financing and financial services to mobility entrepreneurs Moove, has raised £15 million fund from Emso Asset Management as it plans to scale up its operation in the U.K.

The African startup which has a growing global customer base of mobility entrepreneurs recently launched in U.K. Its first expansion in Europe. The startup is now set to debut a 100% EV rent-to-buy model that provides access to brand new, zero-emissions vehicles for a flat weekly fee.

The new fund will enable the mobility startup which seeks to be the largest EV partner on Uber’s platform in London to scale to up to 10,000 vehicles by the end of 2025 as it had earlier disclosed.

Speaking on the recent financing received, co-founder and co-CEO at Moove Ladi Delano said, “This financing comes at a really exciting time for Moove. With our international expansion underway in the UK and India, we’ve already shown that affordable and accessible vehicle financing for mobility entrepreneurs is a global challenge and one we’re committed to solving at Moove.

“We’re looking forward to scaling up our operations in the UK to enable drivers to transition to electric vehicles to drive forward the electrification of mobility.”

Founded in 2019 by British-born Nigerians Ladi Delano and Jide Odunsi, Moove is democratizing vehicle ownership in Africa by providing revenue-based vehicle financing to mobility entrepreneurs and has so far amassed more than 50% month-over-month growth since its launch.

The startup has also partnered with CFAO Motors, a department of CFAO Automotive, Africa’s largest automotive distribution network with a presence in 36 countries, with a purchase of over 5,000 brand-new fuel-efficient Suzuki vehicles for its mobility entrepreneurs across Ghana and Nigeria.

The mobility startup has recorded over three million rides that have been completed in its Moove-financed vehicles across six markets in Africa which are Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, and Ibadan, with three product categories such as cars, trucks, and motorbikes.

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