Estonian edtech startup Mentornaut raises €200K to launch personalised education in Kenya

Mentornaut-team

Mentornaut, a new online tutoring platform, has announced a €200K investment round, led by the Estonian Business Angels Network (EstBAN). The platform is aiming to increase inclusion in personalised education, and counts Superangel, United Angels VC and a list of EdTech advocates like Bolt co-founder Martin Villig, and Clanbeat co-founder Kadri Tuisk among its investors.

Founded in 2020 by Markus Meresma and Gregor Mändma, the edtech startup is developing an online learning platform to help bridge knowledge gaps and support students in achieving their maximum potential in school. Mentornaut was developed during the Coronavirus pandemic, when lockdown restrictions brought 1.5 billion children around the world into remote learning. As distance and remote learning becomes more common globally, Mentornaut was established with the realisation that parents are becoming increasingly open to private tutoring to help their children overcome learning gaps. 

Since its launch in Estonia in 2020, Mentornaut has seen 2,500 private lessons booked on its platform, and have so far received positive feedback from clients. Mersema comments that through the platform, many have “rediscovered the fun in learning”. 

Now launched in Kenya, the platform saw over 120 sign-up requests to tutor onboarding 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. 

Speaking to the impact that Mentornaut can have in Africa, Veljo Otsason (founding partner at Superangel), commented that: “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”

The new funding from EstBAN will be used to further advance the automation of the platform, streamlining personalized 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