Fundraising Cohort Program May/June 2022GFA Spotlight

GFA Spotlight: PaveHQ (GetFundedAfrica May/June Fundraising Cohort Edition)

About the Founder (s)

Lanre Ogundipe and Oluwasoji Sanyaolu are co-founders of PaveHQ, a cross-border education marketplace and ecosystem helping students seamlessly search, compare and apply to institutions globally through a centralized and easy-to-use platform.

Before setting up PaveHQ, Lanre served as CEO at Imperial EdTech for over a decade. On the other hand, Oluwasoji had 10 + years of product building and scaling in start-ups and medium-sized businesses. Together, they pooled their wealth of experiences, along with similar computer systems/science & networking backgrounds, and brought them to bear at PaveHQ.

Value first, excellence & integrity are the three mantras guiding Lanre while solving important problems is Oluwasoji’s driving force. Their unique traits are building relationships & having a strong conviction, empathy & determination respectively.

When they are not matching students with suitable institutions, Lanre loves watching basketball, listening to music and exploring the outdoors; and Oluwasoji can be found hiking or involved with sports.

About the Business: PaveHQ

Having worked in the international education space over the past 12 years , and at the helm of affairs in a traditional International education firm, helping teeming students get into institutions abroad, Lanre realized that running this as a service business was not scalable. He saw a lot of students make mis-informed decisions about their study and career choices as there was no relatable platform that would help students achieve this.  He had also heard many horror stories of the ordeals students faced in the hands of scamming agents due to their (the students’) lack of guidance and adequate insight to make informed decisions. So, he and Soji decided to put all of their knowledge and experience into a product that they believed would solve that problem for millions of African students and career seekers. It’s the reason behind the creation of PaveHQ.

Hear him: ‘We’re solving for ease and precision for students who are looking to apply to institutions abroad. With Pave, we have made the process of searching and applying for schools seamless and effective where students no longer have to search through multiple institutions websites or use agents in order find the right fit. We have deployed deep engineering and analytics to match students to institutions based on their preference”.

Barely a year old, PaveHQ wants to ensure that Africans get access to quality, affordable and available higher education aligning with their professional goals and interests in order to achieve successful career outcomes.

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It has on its payroll 16 members of staff to attain this lofty mission, with ApplyBoard, StudyPortals, Adventus as some of its biggest competitors. However, PaveHQ is optimistic. It has been instrumental, albeit slowly, to changing the perception students have of the need to speak to an agent before a successful application can occur. In addition, it is pioneering something in the education industry and believes it has high potential to disrupt and scale.

PaveHQ plans to expand to as many regions as possible because it has discovered similar access problems in other African countries as well as globally. But charity, they say, begins at home; it would first conquer its home country, Nigeria, which currently has the largest cross border education statistic in Africa and occupies the fourth position in the world ranking.

‘Our vision is to be the foremost marketplace and ecosystem for education and career seekers across Africa. . .a global force in the cross-border education space, ‘ Lanre states.

In five years, Lanre sees PaveHQ as being valued over $1 billion i.e a unicorn, and present in every continent of the world.

‘We want to be known for value; we want every customer to regard us as a valuable partner of their educational and professional journeys, and we want to be known for premium customer service and a high success rate,’ he concludes.

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