MENA-based Female-focused EdTech is ramping efforts to put women on career and executive tracks through its masterclass edutainment platform. PLAYBOOK set forth to capture an opportunity in the job market and empower the next generation of female leaders.
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MENA-based EdTech platform PLAYBOOK announces that it has closed its Pre-Seed Funding of $700K backed by San-Francisco-based Venture Capital firm 500 Global, Saudi-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Sanabil Investments, Kuwait-based Venture Capital firm Faith Capital, Saudi-based Angel Investor Network Women Spark, amongst other strategic angel investors.
PLAYBOOK is an edutainment platform for women with a mission to bridge the global gender gap and get more women into leadership roles through access to a diverse digital academy of masterclasses led by game-changing women leaders (with future Ai Technology integration) and an engaged professional learning community. As the region sees several job opportunities and leadership verticals opening up with women at the forefront, PLAYBOOK seeks to present a solution to the private and public sector to address this influx and pave the way for growth and inclusion.
As recorded in our State of Startup Funding- 2022 Emerging Venture Markets Free Report, catalyzed by a global pandemic that put constraints on live learning, EdTech ecosystems across Emerging Venture Markets (EVMs) have been observing expedited VC interest. 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 many of the conditions in MENA markets are shared with other EVMs, startups like the Jordan-based online learning platform are finding opportunities in cross-market expansion, which resulted in Abwaab’s acquisition of Pakistan-based Edmatrix. In MENA, the EdTech industry observed sizable investments in 2021 backing the next generation of education platforms including UAE-based children EdTech platform Lamsa, Dubai-based E-learning and professional development network almentor.net, and Jordan-based alternative learning platform Edunation.
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The platform runs on a subscription-based model with annual subscription packages for individuals and teams. The high-production Masterclasses within the PLAYBOOK ACADEMY are led by phenomenal women who reverse-engineer their playbook to success and share valuable takeaways with viewers (members) that are actionable in their own personal and professional lives. The community, also known as THE CAMPUS, will enable social connections, discussions, on-demand mentorship, access to live events, job boards, and other exciting perks. Members can learn how to lead like a CEO, negotiate like a minister, make decisions like a board member, problem-solve like a scientist amongst several other fascinating themes that enable career development. “We’re proud to support female-founded startups such as PLAYBOOK that we believe have the potential to scale regionally and globally. PLAYBOOK enters the market at the right time to present a solution to the public and private sector, as policymakers appear to increasingly institute SDG goals and more job opportunities open up for women,” said Amal Dokhan, Partner, 500 Global MENA.
“We have always maintained a strong commitment as the leading Women Angel Investment Group based in Saudi to invest in Founders who share our vision and mission for the region and beyond. PLAYBOOK helps us further our mission to invest in accelerating the career growth cycle of the female talent pool and build more prosperous economies”, added Deemah Al Yahya, Founder of Women Spark.
The platform is being built out by a fully female-founded team of 3 led at the helm by CEO Wafa AlObaidat. With 12+ years of experience building and scaling various entrepreneurial ventures, Wafa is also the host of a chart-topping podcast show (Women Power Podcast) and has had proven success leading the largest network for women in MENA (Women Power Network). Ismahan Al Saad, Co-Founder and CEO, drives fundraising and operations building upon her background of having managed a family enterprise of 300+ employees and having led a successful tenure as an investment banker. Shreya Rammohan, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, leads product development and marketing with almost a decade of experience developing and executing digital marketing and communications strategies for 80+ brands. “Our team isn’t just us. It’s the most successful women of our generation, the Masters who are working with us to build value-driven content and share it with an audience of millions.”, says Wafa AlObaidat, Founder & CEO - Playbook. “Through the power of storytelling by women that look like, sound like, and are relatable to our audience, we hope to enable women to get unstuck in their personal and professional lives and navigate their pain points with much more clarity and perspective as they learn from real-world scenarios and tactics.”
With the global EdTech market growing 30% (YoY), the disruptors entering the market with innovative solutions present a promising future to up-skill the global talent pool and serve emerging professions. Governments in the GCC have been taking a proactive policy-driven stance to strengthen economic growth and quality of life through gender balance mandates. Adoption of The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) has become common practice in most multinational corporations. PLAYBOOK will be able to utilize its newly acquired funds to further support its platform in hopes of capitalizing on this staggering momentum. With a female-led team and a female-focused proposition, Mohammed Jaffar, Managing Partner - Faith Capital concluded with high hopes for the MENA-based EdTech, “Investing in a company is almost always driven by investing in the person at the helm. Wafa AlObaidat as a self-made entrepreneur of several successful enterprises has showcased her and her team’s capability to launch and scale businesses profitably whilst also creating tangible impact. I’m excited by what the future holds for PLAYBOOK and for women across this region and globally.”
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