To provide students with access to multilingual online learning resources using low-data instant messaging services like Whatsapp, the South African Edtech startup Foondamate has expanded its operations to Nigeria. WhatsApp is used by Foondamate as a teaching tool because it enables students without reliable internet access to learn with the help of regional chatbots.
Students can also utilize the platform to look up topics, download academic papers, do basic mathematical operations, and define words. Students now have access to locally produced educational materials including old junior and senior WAEC examination papers thanks to its recent introduction in Nigeria.
To solve the disparities in the South African educational system, Tao Boyle and Dacod Magagula developed the API-based solution over two years ago. As users interact in their native tongues, the Edtech platform is currently available in 10 distinct African languages. This produces a special kind of user excitement that takes users into consideration while granting access to education.
Since its introduction, the South African AI robot has assisted over 500,000 students in South Africa and more than 30 other nations, including Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Angola, with their homework, studies, and learning. FoondaMate intensified its attempts to localize its material after raising $2 million in a seed round. The startup also standardized study guides, students from other nations can access materials like exam practice questions that are unique to their regions. The company believes that even though opportunities are not available to everyone, talent can still be distributed equally.
How the Foundamate Chatbot Works
Similar to when speaking with a friend, the FoondaMate chatbot operates in the same way. To start a chat, all the student needs to do is send a message to the designated WhatsApp number. Once users send a message posing a query, the chatbot will reply with specific information based on the query that was posed.
As an illustration, a user could query a chatbot, “What is climate change?” and the chatbot would respond with the appropriate information as soon as it was received. Users can order previous test papers. The bot will reply in the chat with a pdf file of the requested past examination which the user can download or share with others.
According to the Edtech platform, the wonderful feedback and response they have been receiving from users has made them feel ecstatic ever since their entry into Nigeria. Tao Boyle, a co-founder of the startup speaking said that Nigerian students don’t hold back, noting that they immediately tell you exactly what they think of the platform as soon as they are on it. Boyle added that he has anticipated that getting comments would be challenging, but it has been entirely the opposite.
“Students sign up and on the same day they email us telling us how much they love the product and recommending other things they would like to see on the platform.”