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Pakistan-based EdTech startup and E-learning platform Maqsad has successfully raised $2.1M in its latest funding round. The Pre-Seed round was led by Indus Valley Capital and recorded participation from Alter Global, Fatima Gobi Ventures, and several individual founders from Pakistan and the Middle East.
Founded by childhood best friends Taha Ahmed and Rooshan Aziz, Maqsad is building a one-stop-shop for after-school academic support aiming to serve 100M Pakistani students. The mobile-only platform will deliver high-quality localized academic content in an English and Urdu balance. This will be supplemented by quizzes and other gamified features that will come together to provide a personalized learning experience.
As most recently recorded in our August 2021 Venture Investment Dashboard, the Pakistani startup ecosystem has been observing its 4th consecutive quarterly growth in VC funding signaling a healthy recovery post-pandemic. Albeit with 9 fewer deals closed in 2021, Pakistan-based startups observed an almost 300% YoY growth in the amount of funding signaling bigger average round sizes, where Maqsad’s Pre-Seed round ranks high in the top funding rounds in its industry.
Having grown up in Karachi, childhood friends Taha and Rooshan are well aware of the challenges within the Pakistani education system, the nation’s student-teacher ratio is among the highest in the world and the top-notch educational facilities and/or teachers are exclusive to small nice markets and inaccessible to the general public. By providing decentralized and highly engaging educational support, Maqsad not only wishes to fill the gap but also is pushing to elevate the students’ capabilities as Co-Founder Taha Ahmed highlighted “It’s about more than just getting students to pass their exams. We want to start a revolution in the way Pakistani students learn, moving beyond rote memorization to a place of real comprehension.”
Albeit having a long-term vision towards alternative & cloud education in Pakitan, the Maqsad team came to fruition at the beginning of the Pandemic, seeing as the need for virtual learning was critical and the supply was timid. The Pandemic experience set the groundwork for Maqsad to build and scale its operations as Co-Founder Rooshan Aziz highlighted “Struggles of students during the early days of the pandemic motivated us to run a pilot. With promising initial traction and user feedback, the potential to digitize the education sector became very clear.”
A core pillar of Maqsad’s strategy is to foster a high-growth environment that brings together Pakistan’s top talent to develop a world-class product. “We have been blown away by the talent we’ve seen so far and are very excited about the future of the ecosystem,” says Taha. This latest investment comes as a growth driver and platform launcher as the Pakistan-based team develops the E-learning Mobile App. Believing in Maqsad’s great potential General Partner of Fatima Gobi Ventures, Ali Mukhtar commented “Pakistan’s Edtech opportunity is one of the largest in the world and we are excited to back Maqsad in delivering tech-powered education that levels access, quality and cost across Pakistan’s youth and creates lasting social change.”
Maqsad’s mission is to level the playing field by offering Pakistani students the tools they need to succeed in their exams and beyond. The Pakistan-based team plans to utilize its newly acquired funds to launch its mobile platform at the end of this year and further develop its educational content. Aatif Awan, the founder and Managing Partner of Indus Valley Capital concluded “We’ve been looking to invest in a startup transforming education in Pakistan since Indus Valley’s inception. Maqsad founders’ deep understanding of the problem, unique approach to solving it and passion for impact persuaded us quickly that this was the team to partner with. We are thrilled about helping Maqsad become the platform for Pakistan’s youth to realize its potential.”
Want to learn about this landscape? Browse 58 EdTech startups in Pakistan.