You’re wondering how?
As a Nigerian, you should be near completion of high school (often called secondary school locally) or observing your higher education in a tertiary institution at that age. Nathan had however rejected a scholarship offer to study computer science at Carleton University, Ottawa to build his growing startup, Klas, as a solution to offer virtual education.
At 15, he had to stay away from high school for 5 months due to an eye accident. This led him to lose his eyesight despite several surgery attempts in Australia. To engage himself and beat boredom, he set out to look for a platform to teach Physics but this could only be possible if he knew how to record and edit videos. Platforms like Thinkific, Teachable, and Udemy operate by a pre-recorded video content model.
This even got more taksy when he decided to teach live classes, but with a supportive mother, his idea to build his product gained ground.
Launched in April of this year, Klas is the operating system for live, cohort learning. Instead of using different unique products like Zoom for live presentations, and Slack for presenting assignments or co-working environments — lecture tools have been integrated into the platform — a Super App model to enable a seamless experience for students and teachers.
Teachers have access to monetise classes directly on the platform with strategic options such as Stripe’s USD, Paystack’s NGN, and Lazerpay’s Crypto. Among its other features, it also recently introduced the Klas for Teams feature.
Klas is also co-founded by Lekan Adejumo who doubles as the CTO. The pair met on a YC Co-founder Matching Platform and shared the goal to build the next frontier of education.
Offering classes of different kinds ranging from tech-oriented web 3 to languages and business, Klas has raised total funding of $300k in six months of operation and achieved more than 50,000 active users on its platform including institutions such as The Bulb, Univelcity, and Alida School.
In March, it raised $130,000 for its angel round participated by Voltron Capital, Cabal Fund, Velocity Digital, and HoaQ, as well as African entrepreneurs, including Tola Adesanmi (Spleet), Odunayo Eweniyi (Piggyvest), Nadayar Enegesi (Eden Life), Njoku Emmanuel (Lazerpay) and Leonard Stiegeler (Jumia).
After Klas, Nathan is also the co-founder of Bakely, a marketplace connecting bakers to buyers.
In an interview with The Ouut, the serial techpreneur shares the aim of Klas to expand to Europe and Asia with its Cohort 5 membership at Techstars Toronto ’22 Accelerator Program.
“The focus right now is to scale our platform globally, especially into India and later to Canada and the US,” the founder said.
Currently, he is the youngest person to get into Techstars Accelerator Program at 19.
I'm excited to announce that Klas has been accepted into Techstars??
6 months ago, I dropped out of college to build Klas. Today, we power live classes for 47,000+ users globally including institutions such as The Bulb
I'm now the youngest person to ever join Techstars at 19 pic.twitter.com/Id6KCpBg3p
— Nathan (@_KingNath) October 28, 2022
“You can’t build a serious tech company and also juggle school together. It’s not just possible. I had to choose one to focus on and it was a pretty simple choice.”
Asked why he dropped out of school, Nathan said: “We’re in a different world from the days of our parents. Information is readily available at the tips of our fingers. Millions of educational content on platforms like Youtube, and a digital interconnected world all help to reduce the knowledge barrier today.”
“The need for in-person formal education — wasting almost 5 years of your life (higher education) — is becoming increasingly irrelevant. I see a future where education becomes fully virtual to allow people to learn from anywhere while still giving them the freedom to explore other areas of life,” he added.
Further noting the vision for the startup, universities across the globe will be able to have an online learning centre.
“I intend to help universities across the globe to launch virtual learning environments to give more aspiring students a chance at university-level education from the comfort of their homes. Imagine Afe Babalola launching Afe Online or Carleton University in Ottawa launching Carleton Online. Once Klas achieves this goal, I may reconsider pursuing formal education.”
*Against media reports, the founder noted that “Klas is only 6 months old and it launched operations in April 2022.”*