Distance learning online education webpage. Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.comDistance learning online education webpage. Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com
Distance learning online education webpage. Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

EdTech company Snapplify has raised $2 million (R29.7 million) to accelerate its international expansion initiatives and advance its data analytics capabilities to enhance classroom teaching effectiveness.

Snapplify currently has offices across South Africa, as well as in Nairobi, Amsterdam and New Jersey. Knife Capital’s London presence will further capacitate Snapplify’s UK expansion initiatives.

This round of growth funding will enable the company to gain more customers and increase its market footprint through business development, growing the team and refining customer-led product features.

The funds were raised from venture capital firm Knife Capital via its SARS section 12J Venture Capital Company, KNF Ventures, and empowered African investment manager Hlayisani Capital’s Hlayisani Growth Fund.

Snapplify specialises in enabling digital learning for individuals and institutions by establishing a marketplace for digital education content, related educational services and devices.

It currently offers elearning solutions to over 1,400 schools, colleges and universities that are striving towards digital learning and the use of ebooks in the classroom. It gives more than 200,000 students digital access to integrated learning tools and empowers teachers to embrace blended learning and teaching methods.

Many educational hurdles can be overcome by enhancing the learning experience through elearning.

“Snapplify is looking to change the way students access content in both developed and developing countries,” says Snapplify CEO Wesley Lynch.

“We are excited to have Knife Capital and Hlayisani on board to enable this vision, particularly because in addition to financial backing, we also need expert guidance from an aligned shareholder base to expand more aggressively into new markets in our next growth phase.”

Snapplify is at the forefront of EdTech innovations in Africa.

It works with various governments and education departments to roll out elearning solutions and materials to classrooms across the continent.

Snapplify is Africa’s largest ebook aggregator and distributor, with an ebook offering of over 350,000 titles from over 250 publishers.

The Snappbox, Snapplify’s hardware distribution solution for ebooks, allows schools with limited or no connectivity to access learning materials, saving data and download time. In 2017, and again in 2019, Snapplify was recognised by the London Stock Exchange as one of their Companies to Inspire Africa – an honour that has led to an invitation to speak with policymakers in New York at the United Nations headquarters in July 2019.

Snapplify was originally backed by AngelHub Ventures in its seed and Series-A rounds, alongside international investors. AngelHub now forms part of Hlayisani Capital’s Growth Fund that includes a focus on education and edtech. The Hlayisani grouping includes veteran South African businessman Dr Reuel Khoza as well as the original AngelHub funders: Michael Jordaan and the Harris family.

“We’ve been following Snapplify’s impressive growth journey since inception and it is a privilege to finally partner with the company and its stakeholders,” says Andrea Bӧhmert, co-managing partner at Knife Capital.

“Africa faces a wide range of social and economic challenges, from access to affordable tertiary education to a skills shortage across a number of key industries. Though it would be over-optimistic to say that elearning alone can overcome these challenges, the impact is clearly measurable.

“At Knife Capital we believe in investing in companies that solve real problems and in doing so generate meaningful returns to stakeholders and shareholders alike. Snapplify is such a company and we look forward to being part of the next growth phase.”

Bӧhmert will join Snapplify’s board of directors.

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