African Education Startup That's Providing Quality Private Schooling Raises R15 Million

Nova Pioneer is meeting the demand for private schooling in South Africa and Kenya


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Picture: novapioneer.com

Nova Pioneer, an independent school network offering enquiry-based education, has just received a R15 million debt investment from Vumela, a fund managed by FNB and Edge Growth

Nova Pioneer is an independent school network offering preschool through secondary education for students from ages three to 19. The group is helping to address the growing demand for private schools as the public education system continues to face challenges. 

Nova Pioneer currently offers a primary and secondary school in Ormonde, and pre-schools and primary schools in Midrand, Jackal Creek, and Paulshof, all based in Johannesburg.

They are part of the Nova Pioneer Education Group, which also operates in East Africa. Nova Pioneer Kenya offers two secondary schools and a primary school.

Ready to Scale

In a press release the company said the investment will be directed towards the Pioneer Group in South Africa and that the expected impact of this investment is the creation of over 500 direct new permanent jobs and capacity for 15,000 learners over the next 5 years. They also plan to roll out 10 new schools in South Africa in the next 10 years.

As part of the deal, Nova Pioneer will join Edge Growth’s 10X-e accelerator programme, which helps high potential startups to scale. 

Damany Gibbs, CFO at Nova Pioneer, says "We were keen to partner with a firm that understood our needs as an early stage growth business and was aligned with our mission. Vumela is a great fit to provide financial support to entrepreneurs, while maintaining a strong emphasis on social impact."

Richard Rose, Vumela Fund head at Edge Growth, says they are excited about the new partnership and that Nova Pioneer represents the kind of business Vumela was designed to back, having both the potential for high growth and creating significant social impact.

Vumela has R388 million under management, from FirstRand and the Jobs Fund, and to date has deployed R175 million to 15 early stage businesses, creating over 1000 permanent jobs, primarily for low to middle income individuals.

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