E Squared Investments is pleased to announce its investment into the Zaio Technologies EdTech platform.

Founded by a team of young entrepreneurs, Zaio offers job-oriented coding training through full-stack and specialised front-end and back-end courses via their online Learning Management System.

The platform delivers customised learning programs for companies to upskill their employees or aid them in running skills development learning programs, focusing on preparing youth for the technological advancements of the digital age.

Acquiring digital skills education poses significant challenges for the average South African youth. With an annual cost of approximately R50 000 for an IT degree, the financial barriers coupled with the need for supplementary resources beyond the curriculum, create an inefficient and disjointed learning experience.

Moreover, non-financial barriers, including limited access to devices and time constraints due to life commitments, further hinder the accessibility of digital education. These systemic challenges contribute to a shortage of competent technical talent among South African youth, limiting their ability to thrive in a digitally-driven world.

The job-oriented training by Zaio bridges access to technology education by offering online, self-paced or bootcamp courses that aim to get students certified IT skills in at least six months, with job placements at completion.

The founding team consists of Mvelo Hlophe (CEO), Harjot Singh (CMO), Asif Hassam (Head of Product), and Akhil Boddu (COO), supported by nine other employees.

“At Zaio, we are acutely aware that education plays a pivotal role in shaping futures and bridging gaps. Our commitment to delivering impactful education and training specifically tailored to the needs of a digitally driven world is more than a business mission–it is a social imperative,” says Hlophe.

“By equipping African youth with essential skills for the 4th Industrial Revolution, we are contributing to closing the unemployment gap while also ensuring that our continent is an active participant in the burgeoning global EdTech market, which, according to Holon IQ, is projected to grow to $404 billion by 2025. Zaio is proud to be at the heart of this growth, fostering a skilled workforce ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

The blended learning approach used by Zaio combines traditional instructional methods with interactive, hands-on coding exercises and real-world projects, delivering personalised experiences through Zaio’s mobile app, AI Tutor and video-based content for teaching.

The investment from E Squared Investments is supported by grant funding from Injini EdTech Accelerator, which demonstrates the role of strategic partnerships and collaborations in maximizing the positive impact of investments.

Brian Masondo, investment manager at E Squared Investments, says: “Investing in Zaio was driven by our confidence in the passionate and highly capable founding team that is poised to revolutionise education through technology. Zaio empowers learners by providing them with valuable skills, which will ultimately contribute towards lowering the unemployment rate. The co-investment with Injini also means that we can capitalise on shared resources and collective expertise to foster transformative change and enable long-term success.”

Gladwyn Leeuw, CEO of E Squared Investments, adds: “E Squared Investments is proud to be part of transforming education technology in Africa through our strategic investment in Zaio. This investment is not just in a company, but in the future of Africa’s demographic dividend. By supporting Zaio, we are addressing digital education’s accessibility and affordability challenges, empowering African youth, and preparing them for the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zaio’s mission to bridge the digital skills gap is a catalyst for economic development, nurturing the architects of Africa’s future. This strategic move is about unlocking Africa’s potential and ensuring it becomes a leading player in the global tech landscape.”