Safaricom has announced an investment in Eneza Education through its $1 million Safaricom Spark Venture Fund.
The Safaricom Spark Venture Fund invests in startups by purchasing minority equity stake or providing convertible debt, allowing young businesses to access the finances coupled with the technical advisory and business development services needed to grow their businesses.
Founded four years ago, Eneza provides mobile-based education tools for primary students and has reached more than 1 million learners in the country.
“We believe that the mobile phone has the power to exponentially increase access to critical services such as education. Our partnership with Eneza has already seen us transform the lives of several children in Kenya; the funding we are unveiling today through the Spark Fund will provide them with the money they need to reach more children across the world,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.
Four years ago, Eneza partnered with Safaricom to develop the Shupavu 291 app, which is an affordable, SMS based exam revision and learning solution. As one of its most popular solutions, the Shupavu platform offers a personalized experience by providing real-time course level progress, interactive lessons, and assessments, all via the simplest of mobile phones.
Users can access locally-designed tutorials, as well as chat live with a teacher either through a live teacher chat through either USSD or SMS, an online web app, an offline desktop app, or an Android app. Over the last four years, 90 million messages have been sent on the Supavu 291 platform, with more than 14 million questions completed by learners.
Eneza has also created interactive content to cover the local curriculum in several countries. In Kenya, learners have access to all subjects from Class 4 to Form 4 in the 8-4-4 curriculum, with courses designed to also cater for learners who have dropped out of school but would like to keep learning.
The company has also announced plans to expand to other countries including Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Benin and Iraq.