Kenyan EdTech startup Kidato has been accepted into the Silicon Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator, banking US$125,000 in funding.
Founded in 2020 by Sam Gichuru, Kidato is an online school for K-12 kids with a vision is to provide a high-quality, affordable education to the growing middle class in Africa.
Parents in Africa face either public schools with student-teacher ratios as high as 50:1 or private schools with tuition fees as high as US$7500 per year, per child. 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.
“After the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, it became obvious that quality education does not have to be expensive, and the main asset in offering quality education is not the buildings, buses, theatres and well-trimmed soccer pitches, it’s the quality and passion of teachers.” Says Sam Gichuru, the Founder and CEO.
Kidato has over 400 students registered and 200 students from 8 countries enrolled in different classes, such as coding, chess, languages, art and music. The platform currently has over 32 tutors and has received over 500 applications in the last six months.
“Y Combinator has helped us shape our mission, introduced us to an amazing community of founders globally and encouraged us to build a product that our parents and students want and love,” Gichuru adds.
Y Combinator interviews and selects two or more batches of companies per year. The companies receive seed money, advice, and connections in exchange for 7 per cent equity in the company.
The program normally includes “office hours”, where startup founders meet individually and in group meetings. Founders also participate in weekly dinners where guests from the Silicon Valley ecosystem (successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, etc.) speak to the founders. But from last year, the program including the Demo Day has been entirely remote due to the COVID-19 crisis.