South African Edtech startup SkillUp Tutors has secured an undisclosed Series A funding from Knife Capital. The EdTech startup connects parents and students to skilled and vetted tutors based on grades, subject, location, and budget.

The funding will be applied to accelerate user acquisition of learners and tutors, leverage partnerships with content providers and scale the business internationally.

Since the launch of its website, iOS and Android apps in early 2017, SkillUp has seen significant traction through junior, high school and university students as well as adult learners.

The startup aims to grow its footprint in South Africa with in-person lessons, workshops and online lessons.

Through inbound interest from strategic partners, SkillUp is looking at expansion into the UK, other European markets and South-East Asia.

The SkillUp platform makes it easy to find and communicate with tutors and facilitates the purchasing and scheduling of both in-person and online lessons.

Some forces driving the growth of the global tutoring market include low teaching standards in some educational institutions, increasing competitiveness of school and university entrance criteria and student interest in subjects outside of standard careers or curricula.

“The private tutoring industry is highly fragmented and inefficient. We are making tutoring more affordable by radically reducing fees and offering a more transparent service while ensuring the highest quality and safety,” says Matthew Henshall, CEO and co-founder of SkillUp.

“We are excited to be part of the Knife Capital portfolio of venture capital investments and to draw from the team’s experience in guiding early-stage businesses to sustainable growth paths and pursuing successful internationalisation strategies.”

“Apart from its highly scalable business model and potential exit opportunities down the line, this deal integrates the interests of different stakeholders for the greater good,” says Keet van Zyl, Investment Partner at Knife Capital.

“The concept of ‘conscious capitalism’ underpins some of our core values at Knife, and SkillUp leverages technology elements to enhance real-world engagement in the education space – making a meaningful positive impact on people’s lives”.