Cape Town edtech start-up iXperience gets R35m investment

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Aaron Fuchs, co-founder and CEO, iXperience.
Aaron Fuchs, co-founder and CEO, iXperience.

South African investment firms Kalon Venture Partners and Caleo Private Equity have announced a $2.5 million (R35 million) Series A co-investment in iXperience (also known locally as iX).

iX is an educational technology company that partners with high schools, universities and corporates to provide progressive education programmes and services that equip students with industry-focused skills.

The start-up company was founded in 2013 by two Yale University graduates – CEO Aaron Fuchs (from SA) and chief product officer Rafi Khan (from the US).

The investment firms say the Cape Town-based company started as a coding bootcamp and has since become an industry leader in career-focused skills training.

To date, it has over 2 500 alumni and partners with institutions and consumers alike to bridge the gap between traditional education and the skills companies require in today’s rapidly-evolving workforce, says Kalon Venture partners in a statement.

It adds the company uses its proprietary technology platform to ensure students' success through the learning experience.

“The world is changing at an exponential rate and current education systems are not keeping up,” Fuchs says.

“We believe that in the next century, learning won’t just be concentrated on youth, but interwoven throughout a person’s life as they transition across careers and life priorities. Our mission is to build immersive and transformational learning experiences that close this gap and give our students the best possible life.”

“A key differentiator for us is our ability to create new programmes quickly, and that’s largely due to our sophisticated technology,” Khan adds.

iX says its key successes have been in the quality of the instructors it sources as well as the calibre of students it attracts, who come from the likes of Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Oxford, and other top international universities.

In addition to its successful direct-to-consumer programmes, iX partners with institutions to enable them to remain relevant in a changing educational and professional landscape, says the start-up.

Most recently, it built successful partnerships with the likes of the University of Virginia, WorldStrides and Bar Ilan University.

iX will use the investment to grow its team, continue to invest in its tech platform, launch programmes across different markets, and build out its global strategic partnerships division that is focused on working with corporations, governments and institutions on building career-readiness programmes for the future of work.

“We are changing the way we think about work,” Fuchs says. “We push ourselves and our employees to think big, embark on a personal journey of growth and tackle a global challenge at the same time.”

iXperience is currently adding key leadership hires to its team.

“Kalon’s decision to invest was strongly motivated by the exceptional quality of the entrepreneurs and innovative technology platform surpassing what’s currently in the market,” says Kalon Venture Partners CEO Clive Butkow.

“We are excited for the investment, not only for its potential financial returns, but also for the positive social impact the company will have in contributing to and driving the digital educational sector.”

“iXperience is a perfect example of the entrepreneur-led, high-growth businesses that Caleo Private Equity loves to support,” says Selwyn Blieden, joint-CEO of Caleo Private Equity.

“The company has the leadership and market position to transform its sector and positively influence the lives of thousands of students and other educational stakeholders.”

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