Bridge International Academies

East Africa, West Africa,Africa Education

Nairobi-based Bridge International Academies is a provider of affordable, quality primary and pre-primary education for children from poor families.
Founded in 2007, the organisation currently serves more than 120,000 pupils in more than 600 nursery and primary schools across Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Liberia and India.

Through the use of data and technology, the Bridge model streamlines school administration, delivers lesson plans to teachers and facilitates classroom management and academy construction.

Its learning methods have shown substantial learning gains in randomised control trials and national primary exit examinations. The company is a pioneer in public-private partnerships, utilising its technology to improve outcomes in the public sector.

  • Active
  • Exited

Our investment

At the end of 2013, CDC invested $6 million to support the company’s plans to expand to more countries throughout Africa, as well as in India. We subsequently invested a further $1.6 million.

We invested alongside the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and other investors including the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Bill Gates, NEA and the Omidyar Network.

Our investment will enable Bridge to bring quality primary education to over 1 million children on the poverty line.

Environmental and social aspects

CDC and other investors, with the support of external advisors, have been working with the company to explore ways to overcome some of the environmental and social challenges of operating in remote and low-income settlements. This includes completing a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) study for Bridge schools.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
Africa, East Africa
Countries:
Kenya
Sector

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

:
Education
Website:
http://www.bridgeinternationalacademies.com/
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Direct Equity
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
December 2013
Amount

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.

:
$7m
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
USA

Novastar Ventures East Africa Fund I LP

We are invested in Bridge International Academies through Novastar Ventures East Africa Fund I LP, which is managed by Novastar Ventures limited. For further information on the fund, the fund manager, and the expected impact of the fund’s investment, click here.

Our investment

While Bridge already educates 120,000 children, the organisation’s mission is to reach ten million children over the next decade.

Its data-driven, evidenced based approach enables Bridge to deliver affordable education, charging an average of just over $7 per month in fees. This makes it possible for poor families to send all their children to a quality school and for each academy to be self-sustaining.

Independent testing shows that Bridge pupils outperform students at public and other low-cost private schools in reading and maths. Country Exams in Kenya and Uganda shows that Bridge pupils outperform their peers nationally, over consecutive years.

As well as having the potential to transform education for children from low-income families, Bridge is already a large employer in Kenya, particularly among 24- to 35-year-olds who were previously unemployed. The company directly employs over 3,000 people. Bridge indirectly provides work for thousands more local people in a range of sectors, including construction, supplies, and water.

The investment will support the company to create almost 10,000 new jobs in rural communities, both in Kenya and in other developing countries. All Bridge's teachers live in the communities where they work.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
Africa, East Africa, West Africa
Sector

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

:
Education
Website:
http://www.bridgeinternationalacademies.com/
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Intermediated investment
Fund:
Novastar Ventures East Africa Fund I LP
Fund Manager:
Novastar Ventures limited
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
March 2014
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
USA