Top Edtech funding rounds in MENA

After 3 years of early-stage development since 2016, the Education industry witnessed a substantial increase in investment activity over the last two years, with a spike of 336% in total funding since 2018. This trend was enhanced in 2020 by the lockdown and the rise in demand for distance learning solutions. Although the number of deals were the same in 2018 and 2020, the average ticket size increased by 300% to $1.6M over those two years. 

Over the past year, the MENA region has seen a significant shift from traditional classroom-style teaching techniques to online home-based learning, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, technological advancements, and demand for alternative schooling options. This has consequently and indirectly led to more traction and investor appetite in Edtech-focused startups. Discover the top 5 funding rounds in MENA-based Edtech startups below, from January 2020 YTD (March 2021). 

Get more industry-related data trends in MAGNiTT's 2021 MENA Industry Venture Report and deep-dive into similar data relating to industries, countries, funding stages, and more with our exportable data charts.

Discover more than 970 Education startups on MAGNiTT

The startups listed are based on MAGNiTT data of the top disclosed funding rounds in Edtech startups from January 2020 YTD. 

1. Noon Academy

Based in Saudi Arabia, Noon Academy is a comprehensive on-demand online tutoring platform. The company’s main differentiator lies in its functionality - its platform incorporates social and gamification features that enable users to have an enjoyable, collaborative learning experience with teachers and fellow students through study groups, peer engagement, and contests. 

In June 2020, the startup raised $13M in a Pre-Series B funding round, led by STV. As a result of the pandemic and the increase in demand, Noon Academy enhanced the platform and added 3 million students, effectively doubling their user base.

2. Synkers

Lebanon-based Synkers is a mobile platform that instantaneously connects learners to highly qualified private teachers. It provides personalized and accessible education by matching every learner with the right tutor or mentor, with the vision of building the largest community of knowledge exchange.

In September 2020, Synkers raised a $1.8M Pre-Series A  funding round, led by Dr. Lama and Dalia Al Sulaiman, to invest in products and technology to offer a better, personalised experience.

3. IR4Lab

IR4Lab provides education programs in emerging technologies to build up local capabilities and put the region at the forefront of innovation globally. The KSA-based startup builds solutions that take advantage of emerging technologies, enable new business models, and improve existing processes. It aims to think beyond by looking into the convergence of the different technologies to enable the autonomous revolution.

In January of this year, IR4Lab raised a $1.5M Seed funding round from Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures (Waed Ventures). 

4. Aanaab

Aanaab is Saudi Arabia-based online platform that facilitates the ongoing professional and personal development of Arab teachers through distance learning solutions. Aaanaab provides teachers with the opportunity to acquire Cambridge international credentials, as part of its partnership with the prestigious school.

In March 2020, the startup closed its first investment round with $1.5M, led by Nour Nouf Knowledge Company and Wamda. Aanaab aims to develop initiatives similar to global models such as the Singaporean model, which encourages teachers to get 100 hours of professional development annually.

5. Zedny

Zedny is an Arabic learning and development platform using machine learning and gamification to empower human capital to reach its full potential in the job market. The AI-powered platform uses online courses and animated video summaries of global business bestsellers to set employees, managers, and individuals on a designated career learning path. 

Mid-last year, Zedny launched and raised a $1.2M Pre-Seed funding round from angel investors. The startup launched with over 200 online courses and 400 animated video summaries of global business bestsellers.

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