Fundi, South Africa's leading education finance and fund management specialist, has acquired EduOne, a Cape Town-based education technology startup.
According to Fundi's CEO Makgau Dibakwane, the company plans to integrate other key services, such as education financing offerings, an online shop, and a bursary finder.
Founded in 2015 by Jason Basel, James Kieser, Pieter Strydom, and Ben Rath, EduOne was developed in response to their own challenges and experiences of accessing and moving through the education system. The platform builds and develops digital platforms to help people with career guidance, bursary beneficiary recruitment, and mentorship programs. It offers tertiary funding, education planning, e-learning career guidance, web-based platform services, etc.
Fundi is a specialist in B2B education finance for staff as well as a cashless solution for one's business. It also provides fund management services to institutions at all levels, as well as fund management solutions for corporate bursary programs.
Speaking about the acquisition, Makgau Dibakwane, CEO of Fundi, said,
"Acquiring EduOne has been a natural next step for Fundi. It speaks to our long-term and legacy vision for education in South Africa and across the continent. As a similarly ‘disruptive’ business, we are also very well aligned. EduOne was the first in a wave of student-centric start-ups that have effectively democratized education, enabling access for all. Fundi’s funding offering has ensured that this access becomes a reality for many. This essential philosophy of making education ‘a reality’ is a core element of Fundi’s DNA – making this partnership so exciting for us as a growing business."
In 2016, Fundi became EduOne’s largest stakeholder as it filled the company’s entire seed funding round. Since the acquisition, work is already underway to integrate the two solutions, with EduOne’s career guidance tool, EduConnect, having been incorporated into the Fundiverse as FundiConnect.
Jason Basel, CEO of EduOne, said,
"This acquisition means that Fundi can reach its audiences with unprecedented scale and depth of value going forward. As a united team, we’re on the same page, have the same mission, and are looking forward to an exciting and successful future together – where we continue reframing and reimagining the future of education in Africa."
Last year, FundiConnect (then EduConnect) serviced over 2.7 million students and engaged over 1,200 high school educators across the country to ensure students make better education and career choices.