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An Ambitious Plan to Democratize Higher Education and Scale across Africa 

In 2021, Sardana, along with his co-founders John Nguru and Shayne Aman Premji, secured $1 million for Craydel in a pre-seed round led by Enza Capital, a private venture fund that invests in early-stage tech startups across Africa. Subsequently, they secured another $1.5 million to grow the platform. Craydel – a play on the word ‘cradle’ – hand-holds students wanting to pursue higher education – from graduation to post-graduation to PhD – at any point in their student or professional career. In fact, 50% of their postgraduate enrolments are working professionals looking for a career change, says Sardana. The tech startup has 380 direct partnerships with universities so far and seeks to democratize access to tertiary education, in turn, addressing the low gross enrolment rate, of about 9%, in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This includes working professionals who have not been to college before, for want of access to capital and resources. Two years in, Sardana says they have figured out the formula for success.