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Sim Shagaya enters venture capital space with “The Honey Badger Fund”

Sim Shagaya CEO Founder uLesson

  • Sim Shagaya, founder and CEO of uLesson, plans to launch “The Honey Badger Fund” (HBF), a fund for African entrepreneurs in building technology-powered projects.
  • The fund will invest in companies that are positively impacting Africa; however, it will provide more than just capital.
  • Shagaya”s HBF comes five years after he launched uLesson, an edtech platform, in 2019 and Miva, an open university, in 2023.

Shagaya’s first startup was in 2005, and he has since founded other companies that have either failed or been acquired. In 2019, Seyi Tinubu’s Lagos-based advertising company, Loatsad Promomedia, acquired one of his earliest companies, E-Motion Advertising.

Before founding uLesson and Miva, Shagaya founded Konga, an eCommerce platform, in 2012 and served as its CEO. Shagaya resigned as CEO of the eCommerce platform in 2016. While at Konga, he oversaw several funding rounds totalling $127 million.

He left Konga to launch uLesson. The uLesson platform offers k-7 to k-12 students a variety of curricula and tutors that they can access via mobile phones. Students can watch or download the lessons while studying remotely. 

Shagaya’s uLesson raised $3.1 million in seed funding from TLCom in November 2019, and closed a $7.5 million Series A round led by US-based Owl Ventures in January 2021. uLesson has raised a total of $25.6 million in funding over four rounds since its launch.

Meanwhile, it reduced educational software subscription fees by 50% in February 2024, citing inflation, to help ease the impact of the economic situation on families.

Shagaya’s Miva Open University began operations four years after uLesson and was licenced for open distance education in May 2023. It offers undergraduate courses in several fields, including computer science, cyber security, data science, software engineering, public policy and administration, and economics.

Following his latest launch, which he disclosed in an X (Twitter) post, Shagaya stated, “Eager to use all I’ve learned to help extraordinary Africans build great businesses and navigate the tough yet most fulfilling transition to business leadership.”

Moreover, Shagaya or the HBF has yet to give details on how the fund would operate or run. “For those I’m privileged to work with, we’ll do this through @HoneyBadgerFund. Looking forward to meeting you,” he said on X.

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