Future of Learning Fund
The Future of Learning Fund is a $20m early-stage venture fund to invest in new and improved models of learning that deliver education at scale and prepare Africans for the future of work.
There is a global reinvention of education taking place that has the ability to dramatically improve learning outcomes and to better connect learning to jobs in the skills-based economy. This revolution is more relevant in Africa than anywhere as the continent soon to have the largest youth population and workforce faces a unique opportunity to leapfrog often antiquated education systems where demand outstrips supply.
We believe that the exploding youth population and expanding digital infrastructure and urbanization plus tech-enabled, scale-focused new models of learning equals a generational opportunity to drive exponential gains in the access, affordability, quality and relevance of education.
As the first dedicated edtech investor in Africa, we aim to be the primary source of capital, coaching and community for founders shaping what will soon be the largest education market in the world.
We are a thematic fund of Future Africa.
Future Africa is building a future where African prosperity is within everyone’s reach. We are an operator-led fund that backs mission-driven founders turning Africa’s biggest challenges into global businesses that deliver outsized impact and returns.
We have invested $10M into portfolio companies cumulatively worth $6bn. Follow-on investors in our portfolio include: Sequoia, Greycroft, SoftBank, LocalGlobe, Goldman Sachs, Naspers and the IFC.
Our focus is increasingly on the Talent, Infrastructure, Markets. and Environment it will take to unlock Africa’s digital economy.
In launching thematic funds, we are intentionally increasing our breadth and depth in some of the most important and exciting sectors that will impact the continent’s future.
The Radical Transformation of Education to Learning.
Africa Needs an Education Revolution.
87% of 10-year-olds in SSA are unable to read a simple story.
35% of teachers cannot pass the exams they give their students.
Due to the pandemic, close to 300 million African children missed school with learning loss estimated at 4.5-4.9 years.
Lack of Seats & Capacity
In Nigeria, there is 1 university seat available for every 4 applicants.
In some African countries, teachers are absent almost half of the time.
1 out of every 4 school-age children now receive education in low-cost private schools due to overcrowded public systems.
96% of CEOs in Africa are concerned about the lack of skills among prospective employees. 65% of African CEOs say the skills shortage is preventing them from innovating effectively. Average time it takes a graduate in SSA to find a job: 5 years.
Two-thirds of African youth (15-35) are unemployed or vulnerably employed which leads to poor living conditions, fuels migration out of Africa, and contributes to conflict on the continent itself. Only 3 million jobs are created each year for the 10-12 million youth entering the workforce. 71% of youth cannot secure employment due to a lack of relevant work experience.
A Generational Opportunity to Leapfrog.
Africans will make up a quarter of the world’s population by 2050 and a workforce of 1 billion. 74% of population growth worldwide of 18-23-year-olds will be in 10 countries by 2035: Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, (Pakistan), Tanzania and Uganda.
The digital transformation of education will drive exponential gains in the access, affordability, quality and relevance of learning in Africa.
Skills-focused and competency-based learning — combined with the emergence of faster, cheaper, more relevant pathways to employment — affords unprecedented opportunity to connect learning to jobs.
As the global distributed workforce becomes a reality, new models of education and learning in Africa can develop a talent pipeline for the world.
Investments to Date
Africa’s first digital broadcast network exclusively focused on delivering high-quality, educational content. Watched by over 10 million children and their caregivers per week in Kenya.
Higher education marketplace for choosing and accessing higher education in SSA, providing unique end-to-end support from application to enrollment to career preparation.
Online, next-generation university that provides students access to an international university experience, US degrees and real-world employment skills.
Mastery-based assessment and diagnostic tool for mathematics and reading gaps. A valuable tool for teachers confronted with learning loss from previous years.
High-quality STEM degrees for the workforce of the future with flexibility of self-paced learning and an engaging community of tutors and peers to unlock deeper knowledge acquisition, motivation, and accountability.*
South-Africa-based, generative AI-powered chatbot that provides answers for education related questions through WhatsApp. The service is used by 58% of all 12th Graders in South Africa for friendly and accurate learning support and is growing rapidly in other African countries. Foondamate’s hallmark is its friendly character that makes learning personal, on-demand, confidential and its being powered by the latest GPT3 technology.*
*Sourced by Future of Learning Fund for Future Africa Fund II
As the founder of Nexford, the Future of Learning Fund has been an advisor, partner, sounding board and investor. I’ve found they bring a rare combination of strategic thinking, empathy and impressive global network – all of which have been truly instrumental to our growth story. Having worked with dozens of VCs I wish more of them would adopt their approach in supporting startups throughout their evolving needs and through the highs and lows of a startup’s journey.”Fadl Al Tarzi, Founder & CEO
The Future of Learning Fund was a great sounding board as we developed our business plan for Akili Network’s vision of a children’s TV channel for Kenya (and beyond). They were instrumental in mapping out the education media landscape as well as identifying organizations that shared our vision and that we are now working with. Thank you!”Jeff Schon, CEO & Co-founder
Jesse Soleil, President & Co-founder
The Future of Learning Fund brings incredible value as an investor in Craydel. They have provided valuable insights from the education sector in other markets, which has informed our strategy. They have made introductions to thought leaders and operators around the world, which has helped to shape our thinking and pursue high value partnerships. If you are an education company in Africa seeking funding, we would highly recommend working with the Future of Learning Fund.”Shayne Premji, Co-founder
We encourage investors, founders, and supporters of our work to get in touch by emailing flfops [at] future [dot] africa.