Founder story: Matric Live

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Published on:
July 25, 2023

Matric Live, one of the Fellows in our Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program, is an EdTech startup founded by Lesego Finger and later joined by Kagisho Masae. The company is on a mission to level the playing field for under-resourced children in South Africa.

Finger's inspiration for starting an EdTech company came when he finished his final (Matric) year of school and realised that there were resources that he wished he had had available to him, in those final months. As a self-taught software developer, he soon built the app he envisioned with lessons and tests built-in and, upon its subsequent launch on the Google Play store, the platform was well-received by learners in local schools, which led to wider recognition by bigger brands across the country (South Africa). This was also when Masae heard about Finger and his work.

Masae's personal experience of growing up in a small, impoverished township where intellectual pursuits were not a priority, led him to EdTech. As a self-described nerd, Masae had a different outlook on life than his peers and found it difficult to make friends or find his tribe. In grade six, Masae was randomly selected to take an aptitude test at a school nearby. A few months later, he received a bursary to attend a private school. This experience was eye-opening for Masae. The quality of resources at the private school was a huge system shock for him. He had grown up with limited resources, and the difference between what he now had access to and what under-resourced schools offered felt like an injustice.

Over the years, Masae began to notice the state of the township, particularly the lack of resources available to children, and he wanted to do something about it. This led him to start an EdTech platform that paired up like-minded people who loved “nerd-ish” things within a 15km radius of one another. The match focused aimed to ensure that those who used the platform had a community that they could lean on when they needed advice, help or just someone similar to talk to.

Finger's background was similar, having grown up in a township. So, when the two connected on LinkedIn after hearing about one another's businesses, they hit it off and knew that they could build something great together. This is when they decided to put their combined efforts into Matric Live. The platform aims to support Matric students in preparing for the final school exams, through access to online assessments.

At Matric Live, their main goal is to level the playing field for under-resourced children, as they believe that education is a basic human right and that everyone should have access to quality resources. In 2020, when the hard COVID-19 lockdown was announced, Matric Live made its resources and platform completely free, which led to further success. Finger and Masae's passion for education and their belief that everyone deserves access to quality resources has led them to create a platform that has helped thousands of students as they prepare for their final school exams.