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Two months into Q4 and a week before the final month of the year, EdTech startups in MENA and across Emerging Venture Markets still recorded a steady influx of VC investment. In fact, MENA-based EdTech startups raised a quarterly record of capital in Q4 2021 than any quarter tracing back to 2017.
It’s particularly interesting to observe the funding growth and evolution of the EdTech ecosystem in MENA due to its impact on the education and literacy levels across geographies, as well as the nature of its VC growth. The EdTech ecosystem in MENA has made major strides from closing 14 deals in 2017 amounting to more than $4M, to raising almost 6 times this amount in 2 months of Q4 2021. This impeccable growth has been a result of various drivers including global and local investor traction from key funders like MEVP, 500 Global, Wamda Capital, VentureSouq, Global Ventures, and Wa’ed. Most importantly, a great shift in VC dynamics was observed in an almost 40% YoY funding growth in 2020 despite a steady Year-to-year decrease in number of transactions; the latter recorded a 40 percentage point drop between 2017 and 2021 YTD.
On the qualitative side, MENA-based EdTech startups have been avidly involved in the digitization of the educational and social aspects of learning, especially after a global pandemic imposed remote and distance learning. From social connectors for alternative learning like tutoring networks AlGooru and Ostaz by Synkers, specialized and general education platforms like OTO and Edunation, to IoT-integrated student management solutions like Egypt-based Schoolz, EdTech startups in MENA have been receiving great investor traction. Today, we’re exploring the top 3 EdTech funding rounds in MENA in November YTD:
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Abwaab: $20M Series A
Founded in late 2019 Abwaab set forth to make alternative education highly accessible while tackling the region’s high dependence on offline tutoring. The platform positioned at secondary school students offers content tailored to local curricula through Web and native apps, lesson participation, discussion boards, and instant feedback. Last week, and following its entry to the Pakistani market through the strategic acquisition of Edmatrix, Abwaab raised a record-breaking $20M in its Series A.
This latest funding round boosted Abwaab’s total capital raised to near $30M, where the Jordan-based startup launched with a highly promising $2.9M Pre-Seed round backed by initial investors Kafalat iSME, AdamTech VC, Endure Capital, and EQ2 Ventures. Across the 2 other rounds between its Pre-Seed and Series A, Abwaab aggregated a strong partner and investor network including global and local players like Beco Capital, Watar Partners, Foundation Ventures, GSV Ventures, Spartech Ventures, and 4DX Ventures.
Educatly: $1M Pre-Seed Round
Launched in 2020, Educatly is taking higher education listing and social connection to the next level. The Egypt-based EdTech offers a digital platform that allows students to search, compare and apply to over 120,000 live and up-to-date higher education opportunities globally. Since their launch, Educatly aspires to build the world's most comprehensive educational network to showcase all schools/colleges, programs as well as scholarships, language courses, professors, students, and alumni.
Building for learning programs what Linkedin did for jobs, the Egypt-based EdTech leverages the power of technology to connect all educational stakeholders in a seamless digital environment. The Egypt-based EdTech raised its first funds in November, opening with a Pre-Seed round of $1M backed by Egypt-based Falak Startups and government-backed Enterprise Ireland.
Verity: $800K Pre-Seed Round
Another stellar Early-stage round in this November’s MENA EdTech funding spree had a peculiar mix of FinTech and EdTech. An $800K Pre-Seed funding round was closed by UAE-based Verity, the online financial literacy platform providing educational resources and real-life practical applications for families in the region. With experiential learning at its core, the Verity app provides kids and teens with the tools they need to earn, save, give, and spend responsibly while giving parents the ability to observe and guide their money management. The highly engaging Verity app integrates a reward system, a personalized pre-paid debit card, and familial connectivity to make learning about personal finances both fun and experiential.
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