SmartClass, now rebranded as Silabu, is a digital platform that provides extra classes to students either online or by teachers visiting students’ homes. Through the #YoungBold&Digital series, The Chanzo had a conversation with SmartClass co-founder Mr Adam Duma to get the story behind the innovation and its plans for the future.
In his teenage years, Adam Juma, now 26, had already shown great interest in technology following encouragement from his brother. While in high school, he spent his spare time trying to make his own drone. Getting into university, the whole world opened before him. He made his first successful product in his second year and the product was acquired by the University of Dar es Salaam.
Because of his curiosity, and passion, one of his teachers at the university, Salvatory Roman Kessy, engaged him with this SmartClass idea and, just like that, they formed a team in 2018 and launched the company. Overall, SmartClass has three co-founders with Mr Duma serving as the Chief Technology Officer.
“What inspired me to start SmartClass is the fact that I was going to change some people’s lives, I’m going to help people achieve what they want to achieve,” underscored Mr Duma on his inspiration behind co-founding the company.
The way SmartClass operates is that teachers register themselves for various subjects and courses. This is the same case for students who need extra classes. For each student taught, the platform retains 15 per cent of the fee while teachers take the rest of the amount.
By the time of this interview, the platform had 5,000 teachers subscribing to the platform and 8,000 active students. In Kenya, the platform attracted 6,000 teachers and students.
The platform has continued to build its reputation by getting endorsement and funding from various platforms.
Some of the key supporters and funders of SmartClass include Seedstars where the company was one of the winners, Common Wealth, Tony Elumelu Foundation and recently SmartClass was part of the Google Startups Accelerator Africa Class Seven.
The basic philosophy in building SmartClass is building something people want in the sense that the development of every product from the company will revolve around its vision of reaching about a million students worldwide.
“We are building our product in such a way that in the next two decades it will be able to touch 700 million students who want to be educated,” Mr Duma told The Chanzo optimistically. You can watch the full interview with SmartClass below: