2021 Africa EdTech 50

HolonIQ’s annual list of the 50 most promising EdTech startups from Sub-Saharan Africa.

2021 Africa EdTech 50

The Africa EdTech 50 is HolonIQ's annual list of the 50 most promising EdTech startups across Sub-Saharan Africa.

HolonIQ’s second annual Africa EdTech 50 includes startups based in countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. While there are teams working across all sectors and segments of the learner lifecycle, startups focusing on Digital Content and STEAM are most prevalent in this years cohort with a strong focus on servicing K12 learners and teachers. South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are well represented in this year’s cohort with Madagascar, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Tanzania also having startups featured on the map.

Startups are categorized by their main focus. Categories in the market map are not mutually exclusive. 

2021 EdTech Badges (1)

Most Promising EdTech 50

Using the HolonIQ platform, our Intelligence Unit team and market experts selected these 50 digital education companies out of almost 500 EdTech startups from countries in sub-saharan Africa, based on HolonIQ’s scoring fingerprint that includes capital, team, market, product and momentum.

Over 2/3 under six years old.

More than two thirds of the 2021 cohort are less than six years old, showing just how active the Africa EdTech ecosystem is, with teams such as FoondaMate, Kidato and Lesson Desk forming during the pandemic, one of the most challenging periods for education globally. Other early-stage startups in this year’s cohort that are focusing on K12 include coding and robotics curriculum, personalised learning platform (Gradely) and educational video platform (Hitch).  Mature startups in the cohort such as Arifu, eKitabu, Eneza and Fuzu are supporting adult and young learners with solutions such as career guidance, coding bootcamps, SMS-based learning, and personal learning tools.

Half digital content and STEAM.

Almost half of the 2021 Africa EdTech 50 are in the area of digital content and STEAM, illustrating how important access to learning content is across the continent particularly in the K12 context. Online, offline and low bandwidth solutions are all in the mix, with offline eBooks & education resources, Africlearn, online maths lessons (Watobe) and textbooks on mobile phones (Kytabu) servicing kids, while teams such as The Gradient Boost and Africa Skills Hub focusing on Workforce learning. This year sees a significant increase in teams solving issues in workforce learning.


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Track the 2021 Cohort

HolonIQ customers can track the 50 most promising EdTech startups in Africa on the intelligence platform. Look for the 2021 Africa EdTech 50 list in the Lists tab of the Organizations page. Request a Demo if you are not a customer and would like to learn more.

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2020 Africa EdTech 50

In September 2020, HolonIQ announced the first annual Africa EdTech 50. With over 200 million young people, Africa is arguably the continent in the most need of effective, scaled solutions for education from early childhood through to adult up-skilling.  Learn more about the 2020 list and HolonIQ’s analysis of their activities and traction in the past year.  Detailed data and information on all Africa’s EdTech startups and scale-ups is available on the HolonIQ platform.

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Criteria & Methodology

The Africa EdTech 50 is focused on identifying young, fast growing and innovative learning and up-skilling start-ups working in the region. To be eligible, startups are generally less than 10 years old (though there are some exceptions), are either headquartered in countries in sub-saharan Africa, or predominately focused on this market (e.g. > 80% revenue/customers, are pre exit (not acquired or listed) and not a subsidiary of a larger company or controlled by an investor group (e.g. via private equity buyout or controlling investment).

Where is this data coming from?

HolonIQ is the world's leading impact intelligence platform. We support governments, institutions, firms and investors, with data insights to power decisions that matter. If you are not already a client, request a demo to learn more about our platform.
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