Months after raising $29M, Shaq-backed college startup founded by Nigerian picks up another $23M

Abu Mubarik May 08, 2024
Tade Oyerinde launched Campus in 2022. Photo: TechCrunch

Nigerian entrepreneur Tade Oyerinde leads Campus, an online community college startup. The son of Nigerian immigrants launched Campus in 2022, and it has had classes by professors who also teach at universities such as Princeton, Vanderbilt, and Spelman College.

“I got obsessed with the idea of giving everybody access to these amazing professors” at an affordable price, Oyerinde told Techcrunch.

Many students in the United States enter community colleges to transfer to four-year universities, but only 16% of those students receive bachelor’s degrees within six years, according to research cited by Techcrunch.

Campus hopes to change that with its inexpensive and high-quality education that is unique. Its professors are compensated competitively, at a rate of $8,000 per course, which is significantly above the national average for adjunct faculty.

Last year, the college startup raised a $29 million Series A from investors like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Discord founder Jason Citron. Also, one of the startup’s high-profile investors is former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal.

In an interview, O’Neal revealed that he decided to invest in the startup because of his belief that Campus could “change people’s lives,”  and that reminded him of advice he had heard from Jeff Bezos in the past.

“I heard Jeff Bezos say, if you invest in things that’s going to change people’s lives, you’ll always get a great return on your investment,” O’Neal told Fortune. “But this particular investment is not about great return because I feel that everyone should have access to world-class education.”

Campus recently announced an additional $23 million in funding led by Founders Fund, with participation from 8VC. Last month’s Series A extension round came just over a year after Campus secured $29 million in its initial Series A round.

With the funding, Campus will improve its innovative learning platform and add courses. The company has a Sacramento campus, but most students study online. Phlebotomy, medical assistance, and cosmetology are taught on the Sacramento campus.

The cost of attending Campus is $7,200 a year, as reported by Techcrunch. It is fully covered for students who qualify for federal Pell Grants. This allows for 40 percent of the college’s students to study for free.

Venture capitalists trust Campus to disrupt community colleges, as evidenced by this recent investment.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 8, 2024


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