Nexford University, the next-generation online university platform, has announced the completion of an $8 million Series A fund raise.
The round was co-led by New Markets Venture Partners and Learn Capital, two leading edtech venture capital firms in the United States. Nexford will benefit from their decades of experience, as they have been among the earliest investors in the world’s most successful edtech startups.
Fadl Al Tarzi, CEO and co-founder of Nexford University, said: “This milestone truly goes beyond funding for Nexford. Since inception in 2019, my co-founder and I shared a vision of the world moving towards a virtual grid – one where learners with the right skills should gain access to career opportunities regardless of physical location, race, or gender.
“Partnering with such stellar investors is a unique opportunity to build a platform informed by their decades of experience. With their support, Nexford will accelerate its journey to become the leading global education-to-employment platform, enabling talent from across the world to get on the global virtual grid.”
Other participating investors are an exceptional group of education, impact and blue-chip names including: the Learn’s Emerging Markets Fund anchored by International Finance Corporation (IFC), Bisk Ventures, Global Ventures, Future Africa, the UK-based investment firm AMK Investments, and the Future of Learning Fund.
Proceeds will be used to enter new markets, broaden the Company’s academic offerings including career pathway programs, and enhance its technology infrastructure. This Series A fund raise complements Nexford’s rapid growth, following revenue more than doubling in 2021, with consistent, industry-leading, learner satisfaction results. In Nexford’s latest alumni survey 92% reported having achieved, or being on track to achieving, a positive return on their Nexford education investment.
From inception, Nexford has been designed to deliver a 100% online next-generation university experience, specifically to deliver high-quality – yet affordable – education to traditionally underserved English-speaking communities across the world.
Nexford’s tech-enabled business model enables it to deliver education efficiently without compromising on quality; the average annual tuition for a Master’s degree from Nexford costs $2,400 – a fraction of the US national average of $36,000.
Nexford also announces two new Board appointments at the holding company level: Jason Palmer and Greg Mauro.
Jason Palmer is General Partner at New Markets Venture Partners, one of the US’ leading education-focused venture capital firms whose focus is on high impact edtech companies that improve student outcomes. Jason brings two decades of experience as an edtech entrepreneur, executive and investor. Prior to his current role Jason served as Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading postsecondary innovation efforts to improve the outcomes of disadvantaged college students.
Jason Palmer, General Partner at New Markets, said:”Nexford has built an exceptional, mobile-first, online learning platform which has the potential to democratize Masters degrees and workforce credentials across Africa, offering flexible, affordable and career-enhancing options to a rapidly upskilling global workforce.”
Also joining the board is Greg Mauro, Founder and Managing Partner at Learn Capital, which has the world’s largest education technology investment portfolio who joins the Nexford Board as an education veteran with over 20 years’ commitment to innovation and investment in the industry. Greg has previously managed an affiliate of Founders Fund and co-founded several venture-backed startups who have collectively raised over $500m in venture capital and are used by millions across the education, wireless, and media sectors.
Greg Mauro, Managing Partner at Learn Capital, commented: “At Learn Capital, we have a long history of backing innovative postsecondary institutions that transform access to highly effective, career-oriented programs for learners everywhere. Nexford’s next-generation degrees enable learners across emerging markets to underwrite their own upward mobility with highly relevant degrees in cutting-edge fields. We look forward to supporting the Nexford team at this exciting juncture in the company’s geographic and programmatic growth.”
Nexford’s AI-informed curriculum and tech-enabled platform deliver learning outcomes matching US university standards at a fraction of the cost of competitors.