Iraq-based EdTech and online programming education platform IoT-Kids has successfully raised funds from Iraq's largest ISP provider Earthlink Telecommunications through the Iraq Angel Investors Network.
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Iraq-based EdTech and children’s online learning portal for programming, IoT-Kids has successfully secured five-figure investment from the leading ISP provider in Iraq; Earthlink Telecommunications through the Iraqi Angel Investors Network via IAIN member Dr. Ala’a Jasim. The fundraiser also included a matching $20K grant from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH via its project “ICT for Youth in Iraq” as part of the organization's support to the Angel Network.
Founded in 2015 by Mohammad Khaled and Ali Taher, IoT-Kids is a provider of programming courses for schools across the country. The Iraq-based EdTech has launched its online platform in 2019 to provide its users with digital versions of its courses. The company boasts a digital community of more than 200,000 users and has had more than 10,000 students complete its courses.
With the pandemic raising the stakes for digital learning amidst an urging need for seamless digital solutions, investor focus shifted towards EdTech ventures across Emerging Venture Markets. This resulted in a 46% growth of capital investment in the sector between 2019 and 2021, which included a hallmark $20M investment in Abwaab in 2021. As funding momentum backing the sector cools off in 2021, MENA-based EdTech startups observed a conservative 19% growth in capital deployment YoY. Nonetheless, the year marked a steady investor backing of the next generation of educators including Jordan-based Abwaab raising more than $27M in funds, KSA-based Noon Academy raising more than $21M, Egypt-based Orcas which integrates child care in its offering, and a special mention of Lebanon-based Ostaz by Synkers which recorded its Exit last year.
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IoT Kids has won multiple local and international competitions including that of the Falling Walls Foundation in Germany, the World Summit Awards, and first place awards as an Iraqi startup for Seedstars in 2019. The Iraq-based EdTech has recently graduated from the Takween Accelerator Program; a Yanhad project implemented by the American University of Sulaymaniyah. In light of this market-validating investment, Ali Taher, Co-founder and COO of IoT Kids commented, “We are very excited to have Earthlink as part of our journey, the funding will help us expand our online platform, marketing efforts and in due course expand outside of Iraq to other countries in the region”.
Earthlink Telecommunications is the largest and fastest-growing Internet Service Provider in Iraq and its portfolio of services includes ICT solutions, data centers, and managed services catering to the needs of the public and private sectors. Dr. Ala’a Jasim, the Deputy CEO of Earthlink Telecommunications highlighted, “Earthlink's commitment to building strong internet infrastructure in Iraq derives from its vision to be the technology driver of Iraq’s future, and we already come a long way evolving from an internet service provider to an internet economy enabler. Our investment into IoT Kids echoes our strategy and we see a great potential in IoT Kids vision to raise a new tech enabled-generation”.
This latest investment does not only provide the Iraq-based EdTech with the growth capital needed to support its tech platform and further ground its position in the market but more importantly provides educational depth and network potential for the platform. Mujahid Waisi, the CEO of Kapita, commented “We are very happy to see locally established businesses play an increasing role in supporting the private sector through actively investing into the local Iraqi ecosystem”. Ali Al Suhail, the Network Manager for the Iraqi Angel Investors Network concluded, “IAIN key mission is to enable investments into Iraqi businesses, our members engaging in corporate ventures is a positive indicator of established businesses and startups working together to enable disruption”.
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