Online tutoring platform, Mentornaut has announced it has received a €200,000 investment from Estonian Business Angels Network EstBAN. The service is launching in Kenya to increase inclusion in personalised education.
L-R: Markus Meresma and Gregor Ma¨ndma
Mentornaut counts Superangel, United Angels VC and a list of EdTech advocates like Bolt co-founder Martin Villig, IT-visionary Linnar Viik and Clanbeat co-founder Kadri Tuisk among its investors. Mentornaut is developing an online learning platform that connects K-12 students with a vast range of verified private tutors in local education systems to help bridge knowledge gaps and support students in achieving their maximum potential in school.
“Superangel backs ambitious, forward-looking founders building a better world. Mentornaut’s bold vision of empowering local education systems is impressive. Personalised education for kids in Africa is still largely unaddressed but necessary to build better societies and economies,” said Veljo Otsason, founding partner at Superangel and an early investor in tech companies like Bolt, Veriff, Starship and Monese.
Co-founder and CEO Markus Meresma founded the company with Gregor Mändma in 2020 when lockdown restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic brought 1.5 billion children around the world into remote learning. As distance and remote learning becomes more common globally, parents are becoming increasingly open to private tutoring to help their children overcome learning gaps. The market is expected to reach $202 billion by 2026.
Since its launch in Estonia last year, Mentornaut has seen 2,500 private lessons booked on its platform, which stands out by offering a full service – from bookings to payments – and is heralded by its many users. “We have seen massively positive feedback from our clients who have rediscovered the fun in learning, thanks to our wide range of private tutors,” said Meresma.
The company launched in Kenya, where tutor onboarding produced 120+ sign-up requests in the first few hours. In Africa, the average pupil-to-teacher ratio in primary schools is extremely high at 42:1, resulting in the need for private supplementary tutoring. Mentornaut uses a proactive approach to grow its body of tutors with students, schoolteachers, and experienced private tutors brought on board to increase diversity and help more people get affordable access to personalised learning.
The new funding will be used for the further automation of the platform to streamline personalised education for parents, children, and private tutors across Africa and Eastern Europe. The company's long-term vision is to create a personalised learning system to shape the emergence of personal learning pathways and support studies in general education schools.