Persevering after a tragic event led this Nigerian founder to build a company from the ground up that fills a gap in the edtech market.

At age 18, Nathan Nwachuku founded Klas, an online teaching platform, according to TechCrunch. Three years prior, he had lost an eye due to an accident and gone into a two-month coma. As Nwachuku took time away from school for six months, he brainstormed the idea of staying active by launching a physics class and charging for his lessons.

During this time, he came to find that existing online education platforms were complex. So, instead of using one of them, he decided to build a simpler version. To set out on doing so, Nwachuku taught himself how to code and dropped out of college to pursue Klas full-time. In 2021, the turn of events led him to team up with Klas Co-Founder and CTO Lekan Adejumo, raising $180,000 in an angel round and officially launching the platform. Then, the following year, Klas landed a spot in Techstars.

Nearly two years later, the pre-seed investor has again supported the online teaching platform. TechCrunch reports that Klas raised $1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Ingressive Capital, and includes Techstars, HoaQ, and additional angel investors.

Klas launched as a way for people to set up online schools and sell live classes, courses, and e-books. Additionally, its features range from scheduling and analytics to payments and video conferencing.

“We’re hyper-focused on a closed ecosystem, unlike these other big companies, who are basically integration toolkits and where everything is fully integrated into the platform,” Nwachuku explained to the outlet. “For class experiences, they might offer Zoom or Google Meet; for class management, maybe Slack and all that.”

He continued, “But with Klas, everything, including our virtual classroom, was built from the ground up. We don’t use Zoom or Google Meet; we actually built our tool called KlasLife, which doesn’t even use any video API; this was built from scratch and with a very unique video architecture.”

The outlet details that Klas has more than 5,000 online schools (creators) and 300,000 learners in 30 countries, generating “hundreds of thousands of dollars” since launching. Following the new funding announcement, the company has a game plan of having 100,000 online schools worldwide by 2027.