South African Edtech Startup Snapplify Raises USD 2 Mn To Advance Its Global E-learning Services

By  |  September 25, 2019

Cape Town-based edtech startup Snapplify has raised USD 2 Mn to expand its global e-learning services.

The funding was received via VC firm Knife Capital’s SARS section 12J Venture Capital Company, KNF Ventures, and empowered African investment manager Hlayisani Capital’s Hlayisani Growth Fund.

The investment is Knife Capital’s third for the year. Last month, the South African VC firm pumped an undisclosed amount of Series A into South African automated identification company Cradle Technologies.

Snapplify Going Global

Snapplify enables digital learning for individuals and institutions. The startup has created a marketplace for digital educational content, most of which are related to educational services and devices. The company currently serves 1,400 schools, colleges and universities, offering e-learning solutions.

The edtech firm assists educational institutions that want to achieve digital learning and the use of eBooks in the classroom. The company gives more than 200,000 students access to integrated learning tools. On the part of teachers, it empowers them to embrace blended learning and teaching methods.

The investment will be used to accelerate Snapplify’s international expansion initiatives and advance its data analytics capabilities to enhance classroom teaching effectiveness.

Africa’s Largest eBook Aggregator

Africa’s largest ebook aggregator and distributor, Snapplify has an eBook offering of over 350,000 titles from over 250 publishers. Snappbox – its hardware distribution solution for eBooks – allows schools with limited or no connectivity to access learning materials, saving data and download time.

In 2017 and 2019, 2011-founded Snapplify was recognized by the London Stock Exchange as one of their Companies to Inspire Africa. This achievement inspired invitation to speak with policymakers in New York at the United Nations headquarters in July 2019.

Founded by Wesley Lynch, the firm has offices in South Africa, Nairobi, New Jersey and Amsterdam. Knife Capital’s London presence will further capacitate its U.K expansion initiatives.

This round of growth funding will enable the company to gain more customers and increase its market footprint through business development, growing the team and refining customer-led product features. 

In November 2016, the startup raised an unspecified amount of investment – for the second time – from South African VC firm AngelHub Ventures alongside NuState Capital and a U.K-based investor.

Challenged E-learning In Africa

Andrea Bohmert, Managing Partner at Knife Capital – who now joins Snapplify’s board of directors – says the investment was inspired by the edtech’s steady growth since it was launched.

He said: “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 overcome these challenges, 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.”

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.”  

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