Press kit

About Snapplify

Snapplify is at the forefront of edtech solutions in Africa, and specialises in enabling digital learning for individuals and institutions via the largest digital educational marketplace in Africa. 

As a socially minded company, Snapplify is committed to supporting others and creating sustainable change through collaboration and innovation. Snapplify empowers, inspires, and uplifts teachers via Teacha! (a media hub, resource marketplace, and careers portal for educators); is the digital content partner on a project that delivers technology and e-learning to public schools in South Africa’s Gauteng province, and runs impact programmes through the Snapplify Foundation.

As a global edtech company, Snapplify strives for radical inclusion to level the playing field and equip students and educators with the world-class tools they need to collaborate, innovate and thrive. Snapplify’s technology is used in other educational products to facilitate collaboration throughout the educational community.

Snapplify was awarded the Africa Region Gold Award at the 2020 Reimagine Education Conference and Awards in London and included on the esteemed 2020 HolonIQ EdTech 50 list – honours that are indicative of the company’s calibre in tech innovations.

Press contact

For more information, interview requests or image requests, please contact growth@snapplify.com or +27(0)21 975 7192.

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Frequently asked questions about the Snapplify story

What does the Snapplify marketplace consist of?
The Snapplify marketplace includes digital education content and related educational services (like reading assessments, literacy interventions, and tutoring). Snapplify’s catalogue is diverse, widely applicable for schools across multiple regions, and constantly growing. 

Snapplify Engage combines Snapplify’s collaborative e-learning products into one platform – giving schools access to their own robust 24-hour-access digital content library, and allowing institutions to purchase textbooks (hardcopy and digital) and share teacher-created, multimedia resource materials with students. As part of our commitment to help schools to build digital learning ecosystems that suit educators and students, we also supply devices. 

For institutions with low connectivity or minimal bandwidth, our award-winning Snappbox – Snapplify’s hardware distribution solution for ebooks – can be preloaded with educational content, which students can then access directly through their school.

How are Snapplify solutions optimised for emerging markets?
Our platforms have been developed in an emerging market context, for the emerging market classroom. We’ve ensured that our offering is world-class, but relevant for use in classrooms across Africa. We’ve developed a proven sales and rollout model that can be replicated in any region. Snapplify’s solutions are industry celebrated and globally recognised for their innovation in technology. 

 

The greatest problem in emerging markets remains the accessibility of educational resources. Not all academic institutions or libraries have devices or high-speed internet, which makes digital books and e-textbooks a less viable alternative to physical textbooks. Despite the many challenges, these institutions want and need to be a part of the digital age, complete with all the benefits. In parallel to building our full service suite of e-learning products, we work to make e-learning accessible in areas where internet connectivity is limited, devices are not brand new and/or data is expensive. We improve and adapt existing systems to better service emerging market classrooms, so that students and teachers have access to top-tier educational technology, regardless of the infrastructural challenges they face. In areas where connectivity is poor, or even where there is no internet at all, Snapplify’s Snappbox can be preloaded with thousands of ebooks, which students can access instantly offline. In addition to this, Snapplify’s diversity of device integration allows schools to use our products on the devices that they already have access to, without having to invest in costly digital infrastructure upgrades. Snapplify has also made the sharing of devices as easy and user-friendly as possible. If required, the same device can be used for multiple Snapplify Reader app accounts, so that individual notes and digital reading lists do not get mixed up. Snapplify’s vast content catalogue of curriculum-aligned resources from top publishers continues to grow to meet the curricula requirements (national and international) of new territories.

As part of our commitment to tackle issues around access and give schools the opportunity to explore digital learning at no cost, Snapplify has also released a free version of Engage – Snapplify’s award-winning e-learning and digital library solution. Through the Engage platform, educators can share teacher-created, multimedia resource materials with students; administrators can manage the access and permissions for multiple student and staff accounts; schools can host their own digital content library (which comes with over 50 000 free resources including study guides, e-textbooks, past exam papers for multiple curricula, children’s books in African languages and more); and students and parents can purchase prescribed e-textbooks. Any institution can register for Engage, for free, and get started immediately. In addition, the Snapplify Teacher Benefits programme, available for free through Engage, changes the way that teachers access and share educational resources, and includes wide promotional discounts and giveaways. 

Making Engage easily available and free directly impacts access to educational materials in emerging markets and gives more students the opportunity to pursue their personal and professional goals. Plus, digital learning and reading platforms enable educators and students to engage with content, and each other, like never before while simultaneously working on technology soft skills required for tertiary education and the modern workplace.

The response to the launch of the free platform has been overwhelmingly positive, with registrations from institutions across the globe, including Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mauritius and more – an impressive footprint that shows that we are tapping in to and meeting the existing needs of the market. 

Has Snapplify received recognition for its work?
Snapplify’s work has been recognised by leading global organisations, including the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) who have twice selected Snapplify as one of their Companies to Inspire Africa (2017 and 2019) and HolonIQ who this year included Snapplify in their esteemed HolonIQ Africa Edtech 50 list. Snapplify’s Snappbox has won multiple awards for revolutionising ebook distribution in schools. Most recently, Snapplify was a Bett Award (2020) finalist in the Innovator of the Year category, and was named the overall winner of the Africa Region Gold Award at the 2020 Reimagine Education Awards in London. This follows Snapplify’s success at the 2019 Reimagine Education Conference in San Francisco, where the company won the Overall EdTech Award and a Reimagine Education Award in the E-learning category. This year, Jack Moran, Program Manager for Reimagine Education Conference and Awards, said, ‘Our independent judges and Steering Committee continue to recognize [Snapplify] as one of the most innovative solutions in its space. It has identified a clear, crucial issue facing its target market – one of the world’s most important growing education markets! – and solves that issue for them in outstanding fashion.’ These nominations and awards are testaments to the work that Snapplify does, and bolsters the company’s commitment to keep taking transformational education solutions to the market.
Does Snapplify engage with government stakeholders?
Over the past few years, we’ve taken great pride in being included among other industry experts in discussions about the future of education in Africa. We frequently engage in insightful conversations with government and other key stakeholders in South Africa, Kenya and further afield, so that we can work together to improve access to digital education. We have met with United Nations policy makers; participated in the African Union’s Innovating Education in Africa expo twice; attended Innovation Africa, the continent’s official ministerial summit, annually; and been officially recognised by the African Union as one of Africa’s most promising education innovations. 

In support of national-level goals for the education sector, we have also been working as the official digital content partner on the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) eLTSM project that delivers technology and e-learning to public schools in South Africa’s Gauteng province. This is the largest national-level intervention in digital education in South Africa at this time, and is widely lauded for its progressive trend setting

We have also worked closely with the head of the e-learning directorate in the Eastern Cape to make digital materials more widely accessible via Snapplify’s Engage platform, and to support and train their e-learning coordinators. As a partner of the Eastern Cape Department of Education, Snapplify has trained 130 district and school personnel in how to use Snapplify’s technology and educational resources to drive the adoption of digital education in their districts; enabled thousands of learners to continue learning remotely during pandemic-related school closures; and loaded the Snapplify Reader application on 55 000 devices that have been provided to matric learners. 

In addition to this involvement, we have been supporting the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) with reading initiatives in schools.

What is Snapplify doing in the higher education space?
To better support students on their path to success, Snapplify, together with UNISA Enterprise, has become the joint ebook provider for the University of South Africa (UNISA) – the largest distance-learning university in Africa and longest standing globally. Since UNISA students are based all over the world, the ordering, purchasing and delivery of physical textbooks can be a particularly cumbersome process. 

With the UNISA ebook store (powered by Snapplify technology), nearly 400 000 UNISA students not only have instant access to Snapplify’s extensive catalogue (300 000+ titles from leading local and international publishers), but purchasing prescribed e-textbooks and additional reading materials is quick and easy. Snapplify’s ebook offering includes top-quality academic ebooks across a variety of tertiary subjects, as well as bestselling fiction and non-fiction. Using the Snapplify Reader, students can access these digital resources online or offline, on mobile, tablet, or desktop devices. 

Is Snapplify funded?
In 2019, Snapplify secured $2 million expansion capital from venture capital firm Knife Capital, and empowered African investment manager Hlayisani Capital’s Hlayisani Growth Fund – a sum that speaks to investor confidence in Snapplify’s innovative solutions. The new funding will boost the company’s continued growth into new markets. Snapplify was originally backed by AngelHub Ventures in its seed and Series-A rounds, alongside international investors. AngelHub now forms part of Hlayisani Capital’s Growth Fund that includes a focus on education and edtech. The Hlayisani grouping includes Dr Reuel Khoza as well as the original AngelHub funders: Michael Jordaan and the Harris family.
What has Snapplify done to assist students, teachers and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic?
In response to school closures as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, we collaborated with publishers to launch Snapplify Free Access – which has been widely regarded as the single largest education intervention carried out in response to COVID-19 in Africa. 

Providing parents, learners and teachers in South Africa and Kenya with short-term, no-cost access to a broad selection of curriculum-aligned resources (which they would usually have to pay for) has ensured continued access to education during a time of global crisis and shone a light on the crucial role technology has to play in continuing to increase access to quality education globally. 

Since its launch in April 2020, the Free Access programme delivered half a million free e-textbooks to students. Millions of US dollars’ worth of e-textbooks have been provided for free to parents, learners and teachers, addressing a critical need for educational resources.

For many students and teachers, this has been their first-ever encounter with digital content, and the overwhelmingly positive response is an encouraging indicator of the future of digital tools in remote and blended classrooms – when these are well executed, and designed to address specific challenges that schools and educators face. 

As part of the South African government’s support for the education sector during the country’s COVID-19 lockdown, Snapplify has also been included in the list of educational-content websites being zero-rated by telecommunications companies. As a result, South African citizens can access these key resources with no data charges.

How does Snapplify help educators specifically?
Recognising that teachers invest a lot of time and energy in their work, and knowing that teachers often need resources outside of what is provided by schools, we launched Snapplify Teacher Benefits in early 2020. The Engage feature allows teachers to log in to the platform, for free, and select as many complimentary and discounted ebooks as they need. South Africa’s trusted study guide publisher, The Answer Series, has joined the Teacher Benefits programme, giving teachers access to these celebrated teaching resources at no cost.

In early 2020, Snapplify acquired Onnie Media / Teacha! – an educator media hub, resource marketplace and careers portal for South African teachers. This acquisition has allowed us to expand our offering even further, offering valuable teacher support tools that make a real difference.  

To drive effective integration of digital tools, we have always worked closely with schools in order to nurture and support educators. As most students tend to be more au fait with technology than their teachers, we curate an online resource repository, as well as offer a virtual technical support helpdesk to ensure that learners and educators can use the tools confidently to suit their needs. Each school is different and Snapplify offers solutions that best fit their varying needs. For example, Oakley House (Cape Town, South Africa) require academic features in the Snapplify Reader app that are suitable for special needs students, whereas Our Lady of Fatima Dominican Convent School (Durban, South Africa) have prioritised setting up their digital library to enhance learning and inspire curiosity.

What is the Snapplify Foundation?
The Snapplify Foundation is a registered not-for-profit organisation that was born out of Snapplify’s commitment to increase access to quality education for all. Working with partners, from government to the private sector, the Snapplify Foundation aims to make digital education a reality for schools that might otherwise be left behind, ultimately helping even more learners access their fundamental human right to quality education (Sustainable Development Goal number 4). 
Where is Snapplify based/ where are Snapplify’s offices?
Since 2012, Snapplify has grown and expanded into new markets in Africa, Europe and the United States, with offices across South Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban), as well as in Nairobi, London, Amsterdam and New Jersey. Snapplify solutions have been used in South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Zambia, Mauritius, Tanzania, Rwanda and further afield.
How big is the Snapplify team?
Snapplify’s team of 93 people includes a comprehensive mix of industry backgrounds, with strong experience in the tech, education, book/ publishing, and digital retail industries. Team members work from Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi, London, Amsterdam, and New Jersey. 
How do I reach out to Snapplify’s regional teams?
Email help@snapplify.com and we’ll make sure your query reaches the right team member.

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