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CAIRO: Technology has opened up new opportunities for the education sector by optimizing the ability to learn inside a classroom and beyond.

Educational technology has supported educational institutions using e-learning and smart applications in various academic and non-academic settings.

According to market research firm Valuates Reports, the global e-learning market revenue in 2021 was approximately $15 billion, and the market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% from 2021 to 2028.

Arab News has compiled a list of the top 10 most funded edtech startups in the Middle East and North Africa region.

1. Abwaab

Total funding: $27.5 million

Founders: Hamdi Tabbaa, Sabri Hakim and Hussein Al-Sarabi

Investors: BECO Capital, 4DX Ventures, GSV Ventures and Water Partners

Funding Rounds: Four

Headquarters: Jordan

Founded in 2019, Abwaab provides online content tailored to local high school student curricula, filling the gap in educational resources.

Through the platform, students can participate in classes, gain access to feedback and join discussion forums to combat the region’s heavy reliance on offline tutoring.

In its most recent funding round, Abwaab raised $20m in a Series A funding round to expand its services to Egypt and Pakistan.

2. Noon Academy

Total funding: $21 million

Founders: Mohammed Al-Dhalaan and Aziz Al-Saeed

Investors: STV, Al-Turki Holding and NFX Ventures

Funding rounds: two

Headquarters: Saudi Arabia

Noon Academy is a student-centric social learning platform that offers free live, interactive tutoring with “gamified” features.

Founded in 2013, the company incorporates social and “gamification” features to make learning more enjoyable and collaborative for students.

With operations in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India and Pakistan, the company successfully raised $13m in a pre-Series B funding round led by STV in 2020.

3. Al Mentor

Total funding: $14.5 million

Founders: Ihab Fikry, Ibrahim Kamel, Hesham Heikal, Husni Khuffash and Abdelrhman Fahmy

Investors: Partech, Sawari Ventures, Egypt Ventures and Sango Capital

Funding Rounds: Five

Headquarters: UAE

Al-Mentor, one of the leading video learning platforms in the region, offers online content for Arabic speakers with a wide range of courses developed by renowned experts.

Founded in 2016, the company has delivered over 2 million learning experiences with over 80 business partnerships in the Middle East and North Africa.

In 2021, Al-Mentor raised $6.5 million in a Series B funding round led by Partech in an effort to maintain its leadership position in the industry.

Orcas connects parents and students with nearby tutors or online lessons. (Provided)

4. Orcs

Total funding: $3.5 million

Founders: Hossam Taher, Amira El-Gharib, Omar Fayez and Ahmed Ismail

Investors: NFX Ventures, Launch Africa and Access Bridge Ventures

Funding Rounds: Five

Headquarters: Egypt

Created in 2013, Orcas is a mobile app that connects parents and students with nearby tutors or online lessons.

Based in Cairo, the company offers K-12 students one-to-one live tutoring sessions online and in person.

In January 2022, Orcas secured $2.1 million in a pre-Series A funding round to expand geographically.

5. Ostaz

Total funding: $2.8 million

Founders: Audrey Nakad, Zeina Sultani and Sibylle Nakad

Investors: Hub71, Inspired Education and Phoenician Funds

Funding Rounds: Five

Headquarters: Lebanon

Founded in 2017, Ostaz connects students with qualified private tutors to help students set learning goals throughout their academic journey.

UK-based Inspired Education Group acquired the company in 2021 as it had registered over 43,000 students and logged over 65,000 hours of tutoring.

6. Al Gooru

Total funding: $2.6 million

Founders: Khalid Abou Kassem

Investors: Oqal, Raz Holding Group, 100 Ventures, Ray Investment and RZM Investment

Funding rounds: two

Headquarters: Saudi Arabia

Al-Gooru, another player in the online tutoring space, is a platform for students to connect with their desired private tutors.

Founded in 2021, the company secured $1.8 million in a seed funding round to expand its reach in the education sector across Saudi Arabia.

7. Baims

Total funding: $2.2 million

Founders: Yousef Al-Husaini and Bader Al-Rasheed

Investors: Rasameel Investment Co. and AlWazzan Education

Funding cycle: one

Headquarters: Kuwait

Established in 2017, Baims is an online platform that offers personalized courses to university students in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan.

The company raised $2.2 million in a pre-Series A funding round in 2022 to grow its content library and strengthen its presence in existing markets.

8. Al-Academia

Total funding: $2 million

Founder: Ahmed Ashour

Investors: Entlaqa and Goldmines

Funding cycle: one

Headquarters: Egypt

Al-Academia is a distance learning platform focused on professional development in small courses taught by industry experts.

The company launched in 2020 after raising $2 million in investments to support the huge digital transformation triggered by COVID-19.

9. Aanaab

Total funding: $1.5 million

Founders: Mounira Jamjoom and Naila Al-Khalawi

Investors: Nour Nouf and Wamda Capital

Funding cycles: one

Headquarters: Saudi Arabia

Founded in 2016, Aanaab’s platform facilitates the continued professional and personal development of Arab teachers through distance learning solutions, providing them with the opportunity to earn Cambridge degrees.

The company secured its first funding in 2020 with an investment of $1.5 million to strengthen its presence in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and explore business-to-business opportunities.

10. Zedny

Total funding: $1.2 million

Founders: Mohamed Youssef El-Baz and Basil Khattab

Investors: undisclosed

Funding cycle: one

Headquarters: Egypt

Created in 2020, Zedny is an Arabic language learning platform for people who want to develop their business skills, gain general knowledge and seek jobs.

The company launched after a $1.2 million pre-seed funding round and has offered more than 200 online courses on its platform since then.