Nairobi- and London-based Edutainment Startup, Kukua, Raises $6 Million

Team Kukua

Educational entertainment company operating in Nairobi – Kenya and London – England, Kukua, has raised $6 million in a Series A round led by Tencent and Alchimia.

The round, which also included EchoVC, firstminute Capital and Auxxo Female Catalyst, will facilitate the achievement of Kukua’s goal to continually build an IP-centric kids’ edutainment universe with new Super Sema original content, licensing, merchandise and publishing offerings.

The Kukua team first created Super Sema, the story of a 10-year-old girl who was an African superhero portrayed to be a role model for kids, three years after Lucrezia Bisignani founded the company. The lack of African superhero characters for kids in cartoons and the likes led to the creation of Kukua.

The founder wanted kids in the continent to feel represented and grow with cartoons that related closely with them, spelling out their culture and behaviors.

Super Sema by Kukua

The first season of Super Sema was taken up by YouTube. The video streaming platform acquired its distribution rights and launched the series on its YouTube Originals channel in March 2021. 

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Since its launch, Super Sema’s YouTube Channel has attracted more than 40 million views. The show — executive produced by Lupita Nyong’o — received an NAACP Image Awards nomination for Outstanding Animated Series this January. 

The Oscar-winning actress is also a shareholder in the company. Other members of the Super Sema team include COO Vanessa Ford, CFO Giovanni Bisignani and four-times BAFTA winner Claudia Lloyd (producer and creative director).

The second season of Super Sema was accredited by YouTube Originals and premiered this month. Super Sema’s target audience is between the ages of 4 to 8, and being on YouTube Originals, 60% of its audience comes from the U.S. 

The U.K. and Kenya round up the top three countries where Super Sema is most-watched. In addition to being on YouTube Originals, Super Sema also airs on major linear TV networks in Africa, like Citizen TV in Kenya and SABC in South Africa. 

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Kukua has also appointed Matthew Ball, a venture partner at Makers Fund, the world’s largest gaming venture fund by AUM, to its board. The goal is to expand Super Sema IP and story world into interactive and immersive educational experiences for kids.

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