Kenyan edtech startup Craydel, a platform for comparing colleges, course options and tuition fees, has secured $1 million in a pre-seed round that will go toward improving its search and recommendation technology and enhancing its online resources.
The round was led by Enza Capital, a private venture fund that invests in early-stage tech startups across sub-Saharan Africa. Other investors in the round include Future of Learning Fund, a Kenya-based edtech backer; BriteGaze, South Africa’s artificial intelligence fund; and Bisk Ventures and Tekton Ventures, both Silicon Valley-based venture capital firms.
Kenya-based Chandaria Capital, Nigeria-based LoftyInc Afropreneurs Fund, and an array of other angel investors including founders and top executives of Africa’s leading SaaS, e-commerce and education startups joined, as well.
Craydel was launched earlier this year by co-founders Manish Sardana, John Nguru and Shayne Aman Premji. It was inspired by the lack of a reliable portal in Africa to guide decisions on college and course selection. This provided a window of opportunity for the trio to bring to life a platform that would eliminate this challenge. Through Craydel, the founders said, they are giving power back to students by providing them with access to a portal that offers verified information about colleges to help them in decision-making.
“An estimated $30 billion is spent every year on higher education in Africa,” Sardana, Craydel’s CEO, said. “But the current student experience in accessing higher education is abysmal. There is no aggregation of choices, and decision-making is influenced by biases and misinformation.”
“We are transforming the way students discover, compare and apply to higher education in Africa,” he said.
Craydel provides students with options at every level, including online certificate programs, for which they can enroll to test the waters before settling on a final decision about the careers they want to pursue.
“We believe in the power of the youth in Africa to create lasting transformative change. And Craydel is driven to empower them to access the best education pathways to unleash their true potential,” said Sardana.
Premji, Craydel’s chief financial officer, told TechCrunch that the edtech startup also takes the students through a career assessment to ensure they are a good fit for the chosen program and college. It also guides them on course application and visa processes.