Tunisian edtech GOMYCODE raises $8M

Yahya Bouhlel began coding in his early teenagers. Inside this timeline, he interned at a number of corporations in Palo Alto, California. Most of his work revolved round constructing apps and iPhone video games.

When he got here house to Tunis, he met many college students who wished to construct merchandise like him every summer time. And it was one such summer time in 2017 that he had the idea of GOMYCODE.

After finishing his research in France and dealing a 12 months for Amazon in London, Amine Bouhlel, Yahya’s older sibling, moved again to Tunisia. His new job was to open a subsidiary for a French open supply tech startup and that required hiring builders on the bottom. Nonetheless, discovering a large quantity in Tunis was robust.

“At the moment, I had simply graduated from highschool and I had a free summer time. Amine was struggling to seek out greater internet builders,” CEO Yahya Bouhlel informed TechCrunch in an interview. “So the concept of constructing a faculty or a studying expertise with the spirit of Silicon Valley got here, and we began GOMYCODE as a summer time venture and camp and grew that 12 months.” Amine, the corporate’s chief working officer, held the title of CCO for Jumia Tunisia from 2018 to 2020.

The edtech, launched in 2017, is asserting in the present day that it has closed an $8 million Collection A spherical. It’s the biggest spherical at this stage on the continent (barring Andela if it’s not counted as an edtech). AfricInvest, by way of its Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund (CAIF) and French-based growth finance establishment Proparco, co-led the early-growth spherical.

This brings GOMYCODE’s complete financing to $8.85 million. It raised $850,000 seed in October 2020. One in every of its traders from the seed spherical, Wamda Capital, doubled down on this new financing.

Along with Tunisia, GOMYCODE is current in Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Nigeria. The startup hopes that the Collection A funding will drive its presence in 12 nations, together with South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Saudi Arabia. It additionally plans to deepen its presence within the nations already current, particularly Egypt and Nigeria.

Picture Credit: GOMYCODE

By 2030, it’s predicted that the variety of youths — individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 — in Africa will improve by 42%, according to the UN. One of the vital urgent challenges the continent at present faces — and can nonetheless meet — is upskilling these individuals in a area the place some nations have unemployment charges reaching 30%.

Whereas there are numerous jobs in each aspect of life, tech jobs are at present in excessive demand within the international economic system today. As such, most venture-backed startups construct round upskilling college students and professionals in software program engineering and usually tech-facing abilities. In Africa, a couple of of them embody unicorn Andela, AltSchool, Gebeya, Decagon, Semicolon and others. They function online-only or hybrid fashions (a mix of offline and on-line settings).

GOMYCODE makes use of the latter. It affords over 30 studying tracks starting from internet growth to digital advertising and marketing and information science to synthetic intelligence. College students are required to spend 50% of their time studying on-line and the opposite half at one among GOMYCODE’s community of 20 bodily facilities. Bouhlel says the corporate has native lecturers in each nation — over 500 in quantity — and so they educate college students in over 12 languages.

“We’re addressing a requirement that nearly no different firm is capturing at our scale,” mentioned the chief government. “Native conventional coaching facilities supply outdated content material and methodology, and worldwide on-line gamers wrestle to enroll African college students as a result of their lack of awareness of native markets and unaffordable worth factors. We have now a blended training mannequin, we educate in twelve native languages, and we’re positioning ourselves as a regional chief.”

College students on the platform undergo two forms of applications. One part consists of skills-driven introductory programs that take as much as 3 months and price a mean of $250. The opposite part includes 5-month-long career-driven research with a mean worth of $750.

GOMYCODE says it companions with numerous establishments to position its college students. It claims to have efficiently positioned 80% of its college students by way of a job-placement program. On the opposite finish, it additionally works with enterprise purchasers that use a examine now, pay later plan for his or her staff. This mannequin makes up simply 10% of GOMYCODE’s revenues (the corporate’s total revenues have grown 3 occasions every year since its inception).

“There are quite a lot of affect and mass market gamers. We’re focusing on a variety of scholars. So our programs will not be only for graduates or professionals, or individuals from a selected social class,” he mentioned. “GOMYCODE applications goal mass markets, and our blended mannequin makes us accessible and inexpensive, which you don’t see rather a lot.”

The edtech platform has grown from 100 college students in its first 12 months to round 4,000 energetic college students in the present day. About 55% of its college students come from Tunisia, whereas the remainder are shared among the many seven different nations. With this new funding, GOMYCODE goes into full blitzscaling mode and hopes to succeed in 100,000 college students and open 50 facilities throughout Africa and the Center East within the subsequent 2 years. Already, over 1,000 college students enroll in one among its 30 programs each month, the corporate mentioned.

In the meantime, Khaled Ben Jilani, the senior associate at lead investor AfricInvest, believes the edtech market in Africa is untapped, and options like GOMYCODE “can have an enormous constructive affect on everybody within the tech and training ecosystem.”

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