Snapplify raises $2 million to accelerate growth into new markets

New partnerships with local and international investors take Snapplify to the next level

Leading global edtech company, Snapplify, has secured $2 million expansion capital from venture capital firm Knife Capital, and empowered African investment manager Hlayisani Capital’s Hlayisani Growth Fund. The funding will boost the company’s continued growth into new markets.

‘We’ve been following Snapplify’s impressive growth journey since inception and it is a privilege to finally partner with the company and its stakeholders,’ says Andrea Bohmert, Co-Managing Partner at Knife Capital, adding: ‘Africa faces a wide range of social and economic challenges, from access to affordable tertiary education, to a skills shortage across a number of key industries. Though it would be over-optimistic to say that e-learning alone can solve these problems, the impact is clearly measurable. At Knife Capital we believe in investing in companies that solve real problems and in doing so generate meaningful returns to stakeholders and shareholders alike. Snapplify is such a company and we look forward to being part of the next growth phase.’ Bohmert will join Snapplify’s board of directors.

Snapplify is at the forefront of edtech innovations in Africa, and specialises in enabling digital learning for individuals and institutions by establishing a marketplace for digital education content, related educational services, and devices. Since 2012, Snapplify has grown and expanded into new markets in Africa, Europe and the United States, with offices across South Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban), as well as in Nairobi, Amsterdam and New Jersey.

Snapplify’s award-winning e-learning solutions are used in South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Zambia, Mauritius, Tanzania, Rwanda and further afield. In addition to this growth, Knife Capital’s London presence will further facilitate Snapplify’s UK expansion initiatives. The $2-million growth funding will enable the company to gain more customers and increase its market footprint through business development, growing its team and refining customer-led product features.

‘Snapplify is looking to change the way students access content in both developed and developing countries,’ says Snapplify CEO Wesley Lynch. ‘We are excited to have Knife Capital and Hlayisani on board to enable this vision, particularly because in addition to financial backing, we also need expert guidance from an aligned shareholder base to expand more aggressively into new markets in our next growth phase,’ he adds. Snapplify was originally backed by AngelHub Ventures in its seed and Series-A rounds, alongside international investors. AngelHub now forms part of Hlayisani Capital’s Growth Fund that includes a focus on education and edtech. The Hlayisani grouping includes Dr Reuel Khoza as well as the original AngelHub funders: Michael Jordaan and the Harris family.

Snapplify’s solutions are industry celebrated and globally recognised for their innovation in technology. The Snappbox, Snapplify’s hardware distribution solution for ebooks, allows schools with limited or no connectivity to access learning materials, saving data and download time. Most recently, Snapplify was the recipient of two prestigious awards at the 2019 Reimagine Education Conference in San Francisco. In 2017, and again in 2019, Snapplify was recognised by the London Stock Exchange Group as one of their Companies to Inspire Africa – an honour that led to an invitation to speak with policy makers in New York at the United Nations headquarters in July 2019.

Brett Commaille, Partner at Hlayisani adds: ‘Snapplify is a globally competitive business that has excelled with a powerful and relevant solution for both emerging and developed markets. It is fantastic to build on the platform that was established with the initial investment from AngelHub by bringing investors such as Knife and Hlayisani on board to ensure that Snapplify continues its journey as one of the companies to inspire Africa.’

Snapplify currently has over 200 000 registered users at 1400 schools, has surpassed 2.6 million ebook/ e-textbook downloads, and continues to receive 15–20 new registrations from schools across the African continent, each day – a volume which evidences the growing demand for digital educational tools. As well as working with schools directly, the company works with various governments and education departments to roll out e-learning solutions and materials to classrooms across the continent.

This year, Snapplify announced its intentions to work closely with other companies and non-profit organisations to bolster South Africa’s education sector. Through Snapplify sponsorships, companies can make a difference in literacy and education by providing high-quality, accessible e-learning solutions to schools and students that need them. Snapplify’s CSI initiative is in line with the regional goals of government stakeholders, as well as other international initiatives that work to bridge the digital divide by implementing sponsored ICT solutions in schools. Snapplify’s corporate sponsorship model also provides opportunities for marketplace partners to promote their services within Snapplify’s e-learning platform, Engage.

Knife Capital and Hlayisani Growth Fund join an already formidable set of backers behind Snapplify – which includes Nustate Capital, and private UK investors.

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