Nigerian edtech startup, AltSchool Africa has launched in Kenya, its second East African country. The startup which has 60,000 in over 100 countries provides courses aimed at fast-tracking entry into global tech roles. Co-founder and CEO, Adewale Yusuf points out that Kenya currently ranks behind Nigeria in terms of learner enrollments hence the need to set up shop in the country.
When AltSchool Africa launched in 2021, it began by providing one-year diploma courses in software engineering, but its scope has broadened since then. It now has five schools: Engineering, Data, Business, Product, and the Creative Economy with courses ranging from sales to digital marketing, fintech product management, and data engineering.
Its Kenyan launch is the culmination of several months of work and will have Tabitha Kayvu lead its operations. While the startup provides virtual education for its learners, it has leveraged partnerships to build a community for its learners in Nigeria and Yusuf confirms that it plans to tow the same path.
In 2022, it raised $1 million in a pre-seed round that had Nigerian entertainers, Folarin Balogun (Falz) and Akitoye Balogun (Ajebutter). Both men have been instrumental in its marketing efforts, occasionally appearing in ads.
Nifemi Akinwamide, Head of Growth and Partnerships at AltSchool confirmed that it has begun conversations with communities and organisations in Kenya. For Akinwamide, setting up shop in Kenya aligns with the startup's mission to arm Africans across the globe with the requisite skills to take on opportunities in technology, adding that there are plans to launch in other African countries where it has seen traction.
AltSchool Africa's mission is predicated on expected growth in jobs requiring technical skills, but over the past two years, startups and large technology companies have laid off thousands of employees and instituted hiring freezes. According to layoffs.fyi, 72 companies have laid off more than 13,000 employees in 2024.
For startups like AltSchool, ensuring learners get roles after completing their courses is crucial. However, while it has a team dedicated to this, Akinwamide stresses that it is more concerned with students getting roles without relying solely on the startup. This means that it ensures that learners understand what employers are looking for before they complete their training.