Cape Town-based SkillUp Tutors, an online tutor marketplace has received a Series A funding round from Cape Town-based Knife Capital to accelerate acquisition of learners and tutors, leverage partnerships with content providers and scale the business internationally.
According to Matthew Henshall, CEO and Co-Founder of SkillUp. “We are excited to be part of the Knife Capital portfolio of venture capital investments and to draw from the team’s experience in guiding early stage businesses to sustainable growth paths and pursuing successful internationalisation strategies.”
“The private tutoring industry is highly fragmented and inefficient. We are making tutoring more affordable by radically reducing fees and offering a more transparent service, while ensuring the highest quality and safety.”
Since its launch in early 2017, SkillUp has seen significant traction through junior, high school and university students as well as adult learners. The startup aims to grow its footprint in South Africa with in-person lessons, workshops and online lessons. Through inbound interest from strategic partners, SkillUp is looking at expansion into the UK, other European markets and South-East Asia.
Forbes estimates the current global online tutoring market at around $100bn and it is set to grow at 14% per annum up to 2021. SkillUp aims to tap into this market with the comparatively low cost of highly skilled South African tutors for an international audience.
SkillUp offers an enticing value proposition as an investment opportunity for Knife Capital. “Apart from its highly scalable business model and potential exit opportunities down the line, this deal integrates the interests of different stakeholders for the greater good,” says Keet van Zyl, Investment Partner at Knife Capital. “The concept of ‘conscious capitalism’ underpins some of our core values at Knife, and SkillUp leverages technology elements to enhance real-world engagement in the education space – making a meaningful positive impact on people’s lives”.
Student and Adult learning platforms are showing increased course uptake and completion rates where tutors are used to support learners during their studies. SkillUp’s growth focus is to create a worldwide tutor support network and becoming an outsourced tutor pool to online platforms.