Washington DC-based online university Nexford University has completed a $10.8 million pre-Series A funding round led by Global Ventures, the UAE-based venture capital firm.

Participating investors included Future Africa’s new thematic fund focused on education, which is led by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, the co-founder of Flutterwave and Andela, plus angel investors, family offices and venture capital from 10 countries including the US, UK, France, Dubai, Switzerland, Qatar, Nigeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Nexford stated it will use proceeds to fuel its regional expansion plans particularly in Asia, continue building products, and expand its business-to-business offerings.

Nexford University’s chief executive Fadl Al Tarzi said: “For years, millions of global learners have expressed dissatisfaction with the status quo, and millions more are on the sidelines left underserved by current options. Learners want high-quality, yet affordable education relevant to today’s business environment, whilst retaining the flexibility remote learning provides. In 2021, it is not acceptable for less than 10% of the world population to have a college degree, or for student debt in the US to be over $1.6 trillion. Now, with additional funding, we can invest in the technology and teams required to address these challenges.”

Global Ventures’ general partner Noor Sweid added: “We are thrilled to partner with Fadl and the Nexford team on their journey toward expanding access to universal quality higher education in emerging markets. Nexford University is redressing the mismatch between the supply of talent and the demands of today’s digital economy. This job is essential and necessary, and Global Ventures is excited to support the team in that endeavour.”

Iyin Aboyeji, chief executive of Future Africa, commented: “During the pandemic, while many universities in Nigeria were shut down due to labour disputes, Nexford was already delivering an innovative and affordable new model of online higher education designed for a skills-based economy.  Nexford is an absolute game-changer for higher education in Africa.  We are excited to make this Future Africa’s first investment out of its soon-to-be launched fund focused on the future of learning.”

Date published: 10 June 2021

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