Nexford University, a US-based next-generation online university has closed a $10.8M Pre-Series A funding round, led by UAE-based venture capital firm Global Ventures, with participation from Future Africa’s new thematic fund focused on education, angel investors, family offices and VCs from 10 countries including the US, UK, France, Dubai, Switzerland, Qatar, Nigeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Launched in 2019, Nexford is a tech-enabled online university, which was founded on two beliefs: a lack of education is the root cause of most world challenges; and people should be able to access economic opportunities irrespective of physical location. From inception, Fouder Fadl Al Tarzi's vision was of a world moving towards a virtual talent grid. As internet connectivity increases worldwide, the only barrier to accessing economic opportunity should be skills. The right skills should provide access to this talent grid.
Nexford University’s CEO, Fadl Al Tarzi, commented “For years, millions of global learners have expressed dissatisfaction with the status quo, and millions more are on the side lines 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, mentioned “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, CEO of Future Africa, said “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.”
Nexford will use proceeds to fuel its regional expansion plans particularly in Asia, continue building products to deliver skills employers are looking for, and expand its B2B offerings. With employer funded education already accounting for a large percentage of Nexford’s revenue, the university aims to expand its offering to meet rising needs for re-skilling and up-skilling in a post pandemic workplace.
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