Hubert Burda Media announced an investment in Hmlet, a Singapore-headquartered co-living operator.
Hubert Burda Media invests in Kukua, a pan-African educational franchise dedicated to combat illiteracy among children. In addition to Burda's investment unit BurdaPrincipal Investments (BPI), firstminute capital, Xavier Niel's Kima Ventures and Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen participated in the $2.5 million round led by African early-stage venture capitalist EchoVC. Founded in 2015 by Lucrezia Bisignani, Kukua is referred to as “the Disney of learning in Africa”.
“We very much look forward to partnering with Kukua and Lucrezia Bisignani to address the huge opportunity to build magical, impactful, and importantly contextualized, and relevant content, inspiring children across very rapidly expanding digitized channels.”
Amelia Townsend, Investment Manager BPI
“The next generation of African children have the potential to become extraordinary leaders, engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers and anything they dream of. Empowering them with basic reading and math skills delivers the founding blocks of that trajectory and is at the heart of Kukua’s mission.”
Lucrezia Bisignani, founder and CEO of Kukua
With the increasingly high penetration of smartphones, there is an unparalleled opportunity to reach children across the continent with quality and magical educational content. It is estimated that there will be over 250 million primary school children in Africa by 2030, yet 138 million primary school children currently lack basic literacy and numeracy skills.1 Lucrezia is a graduate of Singularity University in Silicon Valley and lives between Nairobi and London.
Kukua’s approach is to combine proven literacy methodologies, such as early focus on phonics, with locally-inspired storytelling, engaging game play and animated entertainment. At the core of the franchise is Kukua’s media property, Sema, an inspiring, African cartoon heroine who is set to become a role model for children across the continent. Sema is the basis for Kukua's suite of educational tools currently made up of game-based apps that teach reading, writing and maths. A television series to inspire children to learn STEM subjects is also in the pipeline.
Hubert Burda Media has been engaged in the education sector for a long time and is active in India and Africa with BurdaEducation. BurdaEducation is one of the world's largest producers of textbooks and teaching materials.