Moringa School, a Kenyan multi-disciplinary coding school, has secured investment from DOB Equity, a Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa.
The secured investment will go into addressing the growing demand for professional skills. It will specifically facilitate Moringa’s regional expansion as well as development and strengthening of its platform.
Moringa School was founded in 2014 by Audrey Cheng and Frank Tamre, who later exited the startup, to bridge the skills gap in the current labor market. With programs aligned to data science and software development, it offers intensive market-driven education on relevant digital and professional skills that can satisfy the current job market needs. Moringa operates a B2B and B2C model and also staffs SMEs with qualified and skilled professionals apart from training students.
On the investment, Audrey Cheng, Founder and Managing Director of Moringa said, “We’re excited to continue to grow our quality and students served in partnership with DOB. We are looking forward to drawing on DOB’s experience in East Africa, as we build new market-aligned courses and expand our offerings to students in Kenya. Currently, Moringa has served students in Kenya from over 10 countries in Africa and is also looking forward to increasing access to our courses for students from other countries.”
Youth unemployment is rising in Kenya and other African countries. What’s more, education systems are not matching up to rapid industrial changes which demand different and better skill sets from students going through higher education institutions. Some courses offered in these institutions also don’t have demand in current markets and are being phased out.
Demand for digital skills is also on the rise as companies integrate technology in their systems and turn to big data. However, it is still a challenge for them to find high-quality tech talent.
Brigit van Dijk – van de Reijt, CEO of DOB Equity shares the same sentiments. She pointed out the increase in youth unemployment in Kenya coupled with a lack of vocational and training skills. She added that there was a need to rain tech talent better for youth to be competent with the needs of the growing market.
“The increasing global demand for tech talent, together with Africa’s rapidly rising youth population, makes this opportunity even more pressing, van Dijk stated.
In 2017, the impact investment firm DOB Equity had made known its plans to double its Kenyan Portfolio, scouting for ventures in retail, agribusiness, education, and energy. It is also keen to support innovative startups in the East African region with a strong focus on employability.
It has several Kenyan companies in its portfolio, among them Bridge International Academies, which is a social enterprise running a chain of low-cost schools. It also invested in Mr. Green Africa together with the Global Innovation Fund.
Speaking on this particular investment, Anne Njuki, Investment Manager of DOB Equity said, “We felt an immediate strong bond with Moringa’s truly innovative and ambitious management team. We are proud to be teaming up with them and are extremely excited about Moringa as it builds new courses and scales up to develop even more future tech leaders.”
This investment comes after Moringa School had been fined last month, for an unauthorized buyout, where Ms. Cheng bought off Mr. Tamre’s shares without notifying the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).
Feature image courtesy: Moringa School