Edtech startup Foondamate receives US$2m seed funding to increase its app usage

SOUTH AFRICAFoondaMate, a South African edtech startup, has received US$2 million seed funding in a round led by LocalGlobe, the UK-based venture capital firm, to increase usage of its Whatsapp and Facebook-based learning chatbot throughout the globe.

In addition to LocalGlobe, the round had the involvement of Emerge Education, Odunayo Eweniyi via FirstCheckAfrica, Iyin Aboyeji via Future Africa, and LoftyInc, among angels from Luno (Marcus Swanepoel) and Justworks (Isaac Oates) (Isaac Oates). They join XX accelerator, the startup’s initial supporter.

Magagula said the firm is focusing on localizing its learning material to accommodate learners in new countries and fuel the expansion of its platform to more than 50 million users. Its current investment round brings around the resources needed for this speedy take-off.

Since its inception, the startup has gained notable traction. FoondaMate has been utilized by over 400,000 students utilizing over 10 languages in over 30 countries, including Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and Indonesia — where the firm has recently launched and usage has increased dramatically — so far.

FoondaMate’s viral growth strongly reflects how well the product resonates with learners and speaks volumes to Dacod and Tao’s deep understanding of their users’ needs,” said LocalGlobe partner, Ziv Reichert.

“Having initially launched with a mission to transform how students across Africa study, FoondaMate has evolved into a tool that is now used and loved by learners from a range of backgrounds, with varying needs and learning styles, from all across the world.

“We believe that it takes immense empathy for a problem and a real long-term view to build a product of this kind.”

Foondamate, which was founded in 2020, assists students with their revision by providing them with immediate responses to questions and access to revision papers, as well as directing their responses to questions.

Co-founder Dacod Magagula stated that the firm is aimed at high school kids in emerging markets where Whatsapp is extensively used and significantly less expensive or free to use.

According to him, the company’s learning chatbot is user-friendly, inexpensive, and an organized alternative to using search engines for study.

Additionally, educators use FoondaMate’s integrated resources to assign and post homework, as well as to share other learning materials with students.

Magagula stated that he began developing FoondaMate when WhatsApp launched its beta API to facilitate business-to-customer communication in 2020.

In addition, Magagula’s high school experience enabled him to recognize the viability of the concept.

To ensure the safety of children on the platform, the startup has a team that verifies the bot’s information sources and monitors its output.

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