GetSmarter is the talk of the town this year having recently been acquired by 2U, a US based online education platform. The two businesses have paired together to make online education accessible and effortless for everyone and they’re fast achieving their goal of changing 1 million lives by 2030. But let’s take a step back and find out how two brothers changed the face of the online education industry.
It was the year 2008, a father needed to scale his sectional title training and consulting business without having to physically travel to do so. Luckily one of his tech savvy sons suggested presenting the course online, his other son (equally as tech savvy) jumped on board to present the course under the family name. It was a success, naturally, and with this under their belts along with the help of some brave faculty members from the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, brothers Sam and Rob Paddock founded GetSmarter.
Back in 2008 the concept of online learning was just a blip on the radar. John Hill, Chief Information Officer at GetSmarter, explains that “in 2008, most people had no idea that online education was even possible.” Let us remind you that BBM was still a popular form of communication… need we say more. To jump start GetSmarter Sam and Rob Paddock spent a lot of time explaining the concept of online learning to prospective students. From this interaction, GetSmarter developed as a business that not only promoted online learning but, more importantly, developed the philosophy that online learning enhances human interaction rather than diminish it.
To this day GetSmarter puts its people at the center of everything they do. John Hill stated that the highlight for him is “the opportunity to work with amazing people who genuinely care about our customers and each other while being at the forefront of a brand new industry. It’s not often you find both in the same place”.
With that philosophy in place, GetSmarter continued to scale rapidly at the forefront of a new industry. Soon the need for a seamless payment option became a necessity and in September 2014 GetSmarter partnered with PayFast to make online payments simpler. The smooth integration allowed GetSmarter to incorporate online payments with no hassle to their existing system or to their clients. What’s more, the competitive pricing made the choice even easier.
One could say the rest is history, but then there would be no mention of the fact that in 2016 GetSmarter expanded their course offering by partnering with some of the most legendary universities in the world. First the University of London, Goldsmiths came onboard followed by MIT, Harvard and Cambridge and more recently the London School of Economics. With these giants of tertiary education on board, it’s no wonder that today the GetSmarter alumni is 50,000 strong and climbing.
Perhaps you’ve been thinking of expanding your skill set or making a career change? Why not browse GetSmarter’s many courses on offer and join those 50,000 alumni? Over the last 10 years, PayFast has certainly learnt that strong partnerships can have endless possibilities. So here’s to the next 10 years with GetSmarter.