SPARK Schools has secured an investment deal worth R125 million

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Johannesburg, South Africa, October 18, 2016 – SPARK Schools, a leading provider of high-quality affordable education in South Africa, announced today it has closed a Series B round investment of US$9 million/121 million South African Rand with a group of investors led by Omidyar Network. The announcement comes as SPARK Schools continues expanding its network of high-quality, low-cost, private primary schools in South Africa that first launched in 2013.

“This latest round of investment holds great significance for us at SPARK Schools,” said Stacey Brewer, CEO of SPARK Schools. “When we launched our first school three years ago, we committed to providing affordable education of the highest international quality for all South African children. This investment serves as recognition of the promise of our model, which has reached our 2,500 scholars and will now be poised to expand to exponentially more South Africans.”

SPARK Schools currently operates eight primary schools across South Africa and aims to have 20 schools by 2019, with a capacity to serve 20,000 scholars. The school network is a pioneer in blended learning, an education approach that combines teacher-led instruction with adaptive education technology to provide students with an individualized, highly effective experience.

“SPARK Schools is helping redefine education opportunities in South Africa and beyond by providing an education that meets international standards,” said Vineet Bewtra, who leads Omidyar Network’s education investments across Africa. “We are confident that SPARK Schools’ quest to deliver elite-quality education much more affordably will provide the broader education ecosystem with valuable insights into ways of scaling effective education solutions in a more equitable way.”

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In the last three years, students at SPARK Schools have excelled academically to surpass local grade level expectations and achieve globally competitive results, according to both local and international assessments.

About SPARK Schools

SPARK Schools is a network of private primary schools that provide high-quality education at an affordable cost. We believe that every child should have the opportunity to succeed academically and to develop holistically. We are united in one mission: Every SPARK scholar should have the opportunity to go to university and to enter a career of their choice. Our combination of traditional classroom teaching and technology-based learning in our Learning Labs allows our scholars to achieve globally competitive academic results. Our scholars perform well above national average for their grades. Data from each child’s technology-based learning is fed back to the teacher, allowing them to cater to the child’s individual needs.

The mission to provide high-quality education at an affordable cost is driven by a community of people working together at each school of our growing network of schools. There are currently eight schools in the network, located across South Africa, in Ferndale, Cresta, Maboneng, Bramley, Midrand, Lynedoch (Western Cape), Rynfield, and Centurion. In January 2017, three new schools will be launched in Randpark Ridge, Silver Lakes, and Carlswald.

About Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Consumer Internet & Mobile, Education, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights.

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To learn more, visit www.omidyar.com, and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork #PositiveReturns

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Mangi Tshikomba is a technology entrepreneur, Founder & CEO of Things Technologies and founding editor of EdTechDojo.co.za. He is a OYW Ambassador, Queens Young Leader and Brightest Young Minds Alumni. He holds BSc(Hon) Civil Engineering from Wits University, Jhb and Leadership Certificate from certificate from Cambridge University, UK. His interests are in Entrepreneurship, EdTech and Early Childhood Development (ECD).