Start-up snapshot: Using artificial intelligence to improve education

M-Shule (meaning “mobile school” in Swahili) is a Kenyan edtech platform, designed specifically for primary school students across sub-Saharan Africa. The company uses artificial intelligence to create and deliver personalised learning programmes to students via SMS.
Claire Mongeau, founder of M-Shule, told How we made it in Africa about how she financed the company and the biggest risks facing the business.
1. How did you finance your start-up?
We carried out a small friend and family funding round, which gave us enough runway to research, design, and finally build our pilot product. We then secured a pre-seed investment from EWB Ventures (Engineers Without Borders Canada) to fund our pilot. We’re currently raising a seed round for scale across Kenya.
2. If you were given US$1m to invest in your company now, where would it go?

3. What risks does your business face?
Learners engage with our product through SMS typically using their parent’s phone, so our success is highly dependent on mobile penetration and connectivity. Kenya’s mobile phone penetration is upwards of 90% and connectivity almost everywhere is good. However, we will face implementation risks when we begin to scale to other countries without the same mobile coverage.
4. So far, what has proven to be the most successful form of marketing?
Read the full interview here
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