Kenyan ed-tech startup Kidato has been accepted into the Silicon Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator, banking US$125,000 funding, and further support.
Founded last year, Kidato is an online school for K-12 students that provides a high-quality, affordable education to the growing middle class in Africa, where parents must often choose between either public schools with student-teacher ratios as high as 50:1 or private schools with expensive tuition fees.
Kidato classes have student-teacher ratios of 5:1 and teach the same rigorous international curriculum as other private schools but at a fraction of the price.
The startup has been accepted into the Y Combinator Winter 2021 batch, through which it will receive US$125,000 in seed funding as well as further investment opportunities at a March demo day.
Kidato now joins Nigerian fintech startup Mono, a company that enables companies and developers to access financial accounts for historical and real-time transactions and Ivory Coast-based Djamo, a financial super app for consumers in French-speaking Africa, as part of that cohort.
According to the Kidato’s website, since the inception, the platform has had 482+ Students on board for Academic or fun, interactive After school classes like Coding, Chess, Art, Music, Sport and Languages. The platform has over 200 students using it for supplement learning with skill-based classes and over 30 tutors, half of them full time.
Kidato has seen strong early traction, with 30 students in the full school in its first two semesters, and it has enough bookings to triple that in the new school year in September. It has more than 400 registered students.
The education sector was one that was highly affected last year during the pandemic, as the Government saw an immediate closure of learning institutions countrywide affecting nearly 17 million learners in one way or another.
The government adopted a remote and digital mode of learning that increased the learning gap with most learners being excluded from online education due to challenges of access to the internet and reliable electricity.
However, the pandemic also kick-started a digital revolution that saw great innovations like Kidato come up to help students access education materials online.
Kidato, our member in Karen, was founded by Sam Gichuru, who previously founded the Nailab – an incubator in Nairobi. Gichuru has a history with Y Combinator, having taken part in the accelerator back in 2015 with recruitment startup Kuhustle, of which he is a co-founder.
About Y Combinator
Y Combinator provides seed funding for startups. Seed funding is the earliest stage of venture funding. You can read more about the stages of venture funding here.
The program pays for startup expenses while they are getting started. Y Combinator’s goal is to get companies through the first phase.
This usually means getting companies to the point where they have built something impressive enough to raise money on a larger scale. Then they get introduced to later stage investors or occasionally even acquirers.
We take this chance to congratulate the Kidato team and we are happy to see our members grow and achieve bigger milestones in their entrepreneurship journey.