Nairobi-based Moringa School, a multi-disciplinary coding school, has secured an undisclosed amount of investment from DOB Equity, a Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa.
Founded in 2014 by Audrey Cheng, a Taiwanese-American entrepreneur, and Frank Tamre, who later exited the startup, Moringa School was launched to bridge the skills gap in the current job market in Africa. It aims to develop the next generation of tech leaders through market-driven education. With programs aligned to data science and software development, it offers high-potential students the necessary technical and professional training in order to compete in a digital, global economy. Its courses consist of pathways that branch into either full stack development or mobile development.
The company said that the secured investment will go into addressing the growing demand for professional skills and facilitate in its expansion plans as well as development and strengthening of its platform.
Speaking on the investment and its ambition in the days to come, 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.”
Unemployment rates are high across African countries. The education systems are not matching up to rapid industrial changes, and many courses offered by institutions have no relevance in current markets. According to Moringa, 89 percent of high school graduates in Kenya do not qualify for university, leaving many jobless and devoid of educational opportunities. Further, there are no education alternatives for the youth. While demand for digital skills is on the rise, it is still a challenge for companies in Africa to find high-quality tech talent. This is where Moringa School is trying to bridge the gap by providing a comprehensive curriculum and an outcome-driven program to motivated, young people in Africa.
Sharing the same sentiments on the increased youth unemployment and lack of vocational and training skills in Kenya, Brigit van Dijk – van de Reijt, CEO of DOB Equity, said there’s a need to train tech talent for them to be competent with the needs of the growing market. She added saying “the increasing global demand for tech talent, together with Africa’s rapidly rising youth population, makes this opportunity even more pressing.”
Commenting on the 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.”
Needless to mention, DOB Equity has several Kenyan companies in its portfolio, among them Bridge International Academies, a social enterprise running a chain of low-cost schools. The investment firm also invested in Mr. Green Africa together with the Global Innovation Fund. It is reported that the firm is also keen to support innovative startups in the East African region with a strong focus on employability.