Talstack, a business-to-business (B2B) software as a service (SaaS) learning platform has successfully secured $850,000 in pre-seed funding, led by Ventures Platform.
Seni Sulyman and Kayode Oyewole, experienced operators in the African tech ecosystem, teamed up to launch the tech firm with the aim to address the pressing need for talent upskilling and support in Africa.
Initially seeking $650,000, the higher investment amount reflects the strong demand from investors who recognise the value of bite-sized learning with relevant content from African experts. This funding validates Talstack’s hypothesis that companies will pay for such a solution.
The inspiration for Talstack arose from the firsthand experiences of Seni Sulyman and Kayode Oyewole, according to the duo.
“We’ve redesigned the learning process; as opposed to sitting through a 2-hour long class, our courses are broken down; they’re bite-sized,” Oyewole said.
“They are broken down into small chunks of five minutes or less, and what that means is that within traffic, within grabbing that coffee at work, you can essentially watch two or three videos on how to do something,” he continued.
“The second thing is that we’ve also made our courses very relatable and actionable; they are taught by Africans for Africans. You can watch a five-minute video and be able to apply it to your work almost immediately. As a learner, we give you a checklist to use when you want to implement what you’ve learned.
So let’s assume we’ve taught you a course on how to run meetings. You might forget 70 percent of what we’ve taught you, but with our checklist, if you want to organise your meeting two weeks from now, you just need to go back to the course and download the checklist. The checklist is like a guide that says when next you want to organise your meeting, these are the things you need to remember,” Oyewole said.
At Andela, Sulyman stated he faced challenges in upskilling a rapidly growing team, which led him to seek external mentoring. However, this approach proved inadequate for scaling. Oyewole, as a founding member of Ventures Platform, repeatedly encountered the issue of talent quality among the companies they invested in.
To address the problem, Talstack offers a novel learning approach. Instead of lengthy lectures, their courses are divided into bite-sized chunks of five minutes or less. The content is delivered by African experts, ensuring relatability and applicability. Learners receive actionable guidance and checklists to implement what they have learned effectively.
Talstack also selects experts who can use its platform to teach. “We pick the best people we think can teach a particular course, and we work with them internally to build out that course on our platform. Because of this, the course is exclusive to our platform,” Sulyman said.