Nexford University Receives $8M in Series A Round from Future Africa, Others to Expand

Nexford University Receives $8M in Series A Round from Future Africa, Others to Expand

Nexford University, a next-generation online university platform, has announced a Series A funding round of $8 million to expand into new markets, broaden the Company’s academic offerings, including career pathway programs, and improve its technology infrastructure.

The Series A round which comes just a few months after the three-year-old startup announced a $10.8 million pre-Series A round in June was co-led by New Markets Venture Partners and Learn Capital, two leading edtech venture capital firms in the United States.

Future Africa, a self-styled connector of investors to mission-driven startups looking to turn Africa’s most difficult challenges into global business opportunities, Learn’s Emerging Markets Fund, which is anchored by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Bisk Ventures, Global Ventures, the UK-based investment firm, AMK Investments, and the Future of Learning Fund are among the other participants.

Commenting on the round, Fadl Al Tarzi, CEO and co-founder of Nexford University, said “This milestone truly goes beyond funding for Nexford. Since inception in 2019, my co-founder and I shared a vision of the world moving towards a virtual grid – one where learners with the right skills should gain access to career opportunities regardless of physical location, race, or gender.”

“Partnering with such stellar investors is a unique opportunity to build a platform informed by their decades of experience. With their support, Nexford will accelerate its journey to become the leading global education-to-employment platform, enabling talent from across the world to get on the global virtual grid,” the CEO added.

Nexford Offerings

Nexford University offers a fully online, US-accredited higher education that allows students to study at their own pace. When students apply for and are accepted into a degree or course program, they can choose how fast or slow they want the program to be. Nexford’s most important markets are historically underserved English-speaking communities such as Nigeria. The West African country is the only market where the US-based edtech company has partnered with local organizations to provide learning community spaces that help learners avoid infrastructural issues such as internet and transportation. The company intends to collaborate with others to open such centers in markets such as Kenya and the Philippines. Nexford does not directly own or operate these spaces.

Its rapid growth, which includes revenue more than doubling in 2021, is complemented by consistent, industry-leading learner satisfaction results. According to Nexford’s most recent alumni survey, 92% have achieved or are on track to achieve a positive return on their Nexford education investment.

Nexford has been designed from the beginning to provide a 100% online next-generation university experience; specifically to provide high-quality – yet affordable – education to traditionally underserved English-speaking communities around the world. Its tech-enabled business model allows it to deliver education efficiently while maintaining quality; the average annual tuition for a Master’s degree from Nexford is $2,400, which is a fraction of the $36,000 national average.

The startup intends to supplement its degree programs with several pathway programs — six-month programs designed to equip learners with the skills they need to get specific jobs across five vertical areas, including the aforementioned new courses.


Fadl Al Tarzi, CEO and co-founder of Nexford University

Nextford Announces Board Appointments

Nexford also announces two new Board appointments at the holding company level, including Jason Palmer, a General Partner at New Markets Venture Partners, one of the US’ leading education-focused venture capital firms focused on high-impact edtech companies that improve student outcomes. Jason has over two decades of experience as an edtech entrepreneur, executive, and investor. Before his current position, Jason was Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led postsecondary innovation efforts to improve the outcomes of disadvantaged college students.

Greg Mauro, founder, and Managing Partner at Learn Capital, which has the world’s largest education technology investment portfolio, also joins the Nexford Board as an education veteran with over 20 years’ commitment to industry innovation and investment. Greg previously managed a Founders Fund affiliate and co-founded several venture-backed startups that have raised over $500 million in venture capital and are used by millions in the education, wireless, and media sectors.

What Nexford’s new partners are saying

“Nexford has built an exceptional, mobile-first, online learning platform that has the potential to democratize Masters’ degrees and workforce credentials across Africa, offering flexible, affordable, and career-enhancing options to a rapidly upskilling global workforce,” said Jason Palmer, General Partner at New Markets.

“At Learn Capital, we have a long history of backing innovative postsecondary institutions that transform access to highly effective, career-oriented programs for learners everywhere,” said Greg Mauro, Managing Partner. Nexford’s next-generation degrees enable students in emerging markets to secure their future by obtaining highly relevant degrees in cutting-edge fields. We are excited to work with the Nexford team at this exciting time in the company’s geographic and programmatic expansion.”