AltSchool, a Nigerian startup helping individuals to gain technical skills has raised $1 million in pre-seed funding to scale its efforts in training people to become junior to mid-level engineers.
The new funding will expectedly be used to advance investment to build its content and curriculum, technology infrastructure and community concept that allows students meet offline to network and learn together.
In partnership with higher institutions to provide diploma certificates, the startup provides a solution as an online school with a curriculum to upskill non-technical people with technical and soft skills.
According to Adewale Yusuf, CEO, AltSchool, he pointed out that one may need a BSc if they want to be a doctor or nurse and some of these other skills, but this is not a requirement to be a software engineer
“We need to find a shortcut for people, whereby they will be able to make money and provide for their family and add value to the economy. That’s one of the reasons we launched AltSchool because if a lot of people can have marketable skills, then I think we can solve a massive problem in the market,” he said, stressing high school certificate and computer literacy as the requirement for participation.
He also added that the platform is working towards providing avenues for participants; especially for those who are unable to secure admission into its program, to complete the entire nine-month program.
“We realize that the most important thing is skills. We genuinely want to give people the skills. And we know that not everybody that passed the assessment will make it to the end of school, nor are they better than those who failed. We’ll create a situation where if some can stick to the end of this semester, we’ll find a way for them to complete the programme,” he added.
AltSchool was founded by Adewale Yusuf (chief executive) alongside Akintunde Sultan and Opeyemi Awoyemi and provide courses on product, blockchain and data. The company said it is currently exploring B2B partnerships with private schools in Nigeria and Africa, using AltSchool’s curriculum in their classes, adding that it intends to launch the product modules, including product management, marketing and design, by second quarter this year.
Altschool currently employs an income-sharing agreement (ISA) model which allows students complete the program and get hired after which they are expected to pay $500, which can be paid in full or installments over five months, the startup said may soon adopt a subscription model, where students pay between $20-$50 monthly for the duration of their program.