SA EdTech start-up gets funding boost from leading VCs

By Fast Company Time of article published Oct 14, 2021

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EdTech company d6 Group announced that the cloud-based management platform for schools has received a capital injection from Knife Capital, Hlayisani Capital and NuState Ventures. d6 is the most widely used cloud-based school communication and management platform in South Africa and the investment will be used primarily for international expansion and to further product enhancements.

According to Willem Kitshoff, d6 already provides South African-developed innovative technology solutions, consisting of a comprehensive communication and payment facilitation solution between a school, parents and learners, as well as a fully integrated cloud-based school administration, curriculum and finance system to more than 2,800 schools at home and abroad.

“The d6 mobile application enables around one million parents to stay up to date with school-related matters. Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach,” adds Kitshoff. “The chat apps typically used within friendship groups don't provide for the sophistication and security required for a school environment.”

The investment will see the Kitshoff family retaining a meaningful stake in d6, while Knife, Hlayisani and NuState combined will be the majority shareholders.

“Alignment of shareholder interest behind a motivated entrepreneurial team is a critical strategic building block for creating value, and Knife Capital is delighted to partner with these credible investors. We liked that d6 wasn’t dependent on the investment from a cash flow runway perspective, but the funds will enable them to scale more rapidly. This is a high-growth business with an amazing product, recurring revenue and a huge addressable market,” says Keet van Zyl, the co-founder of Knife Capital.

Brett Commaille, a partner at Hlayisani Capital, says: “In South Africa, our expenditure per capita on education is far higher than that of similar countries, yet we have some of the worst education outcomes. We need funding to be directed wisely. Part of the solution is to invest in platforms and technology that meaningfully improves the educational ecosystem to produce quality education for our learners.”

“The d6 team’s in-depth understanding of what schools need and the challenges they face, combined with an exceptional track record in delivering solutions to education organisations, make this a formidable company. We believe d6, through thought-leading insights and providing market-relevant solutions, will propel schools, and the EdTech market, forward,” Commaille says.

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