EduOne, a Cape Town-based education technology (edtech) startup, has recently been acquired by education finance and education fund management solution specialist Fundi.

Started in 2015 by Jason Basel, who served as the company’s CEO since inception, and co-founders James Kieser, Pieter Strydom and Ben Rath, EduOne was developed in response to their own challenges and experiences of accessing and moving through the education system.

“Students simply did not have enough information or support to make decisions about their further education and their careers. At 17 years old, few people even know who they are, never mind who they wanted to become,” explains Basel. “This became the complex problem statement we starting to solve for.”

Today the company operates South Africa’s largest career guidance website, engaging students on their post-school options. It also builds software such as a mentorship platform and fund disbursement tool, both aimed at enabling bursary and financial aid providers to more effectively manage their programmes.

The company’s relationship with Fundi has been a longstanding one. In 2016, Fundi became EduOne’s largest stakeholder as it filled the company’s entire seed funding round. Since the acquisition, work is already underway to integrate the two solutions, with the EduOne’s career guidance tool, EduConnect, having been incorporated into the Fundiverse as FundiConnect.

“Acquiring EduOne has been a natural next-step for Fundi. It speaks to our long-term and legacy vision for education in South Africa and across the continent,” notes Makgau Dibakwane, CEO of Fundi. “As a similarly ‘disruptive’ business, we are also very well aligned. EduOne was the first in a wave of student-centric start-ups that have effectively democratised education, enabling access for all.

“Fundi’s funding offering has ensured that this access becomes a reality for many. This essential philosophy of making education ‘a reality’ is a core element of Fundi’s DNA – making this partnership so exciting for us as a growing business.”

Just last year, FundiConnect (then EduConnect) serviced over 2,7-million students and engaged over 1 200 high school educators across the country to ensure students could make better education and career choices.

“We’re also planning to integrate other key services, such as our education financing offerings, online shop and bursary finder, among others in the near future,” explains Dibakwane. “This will mean that we can fully digitise a student’s journey: covering all their needs from school right through to getting a job – no matter where they find themselves.”

Basel adds: “This acquisition means that Fundi can reach its audiences with unprecedented scale and depth of value going forward. As a united team, we’re on the same page, have the same mission, and are looking forward to an exciting and successful future together – where we continue reframing and reimagining the future of education in Africa.”