EGYPTBaims, a leading Kuwaiti ed-tech company, has acquired Egyptian online tutoring startup Orcas in a strategic drive to tap into the flourishing US$100 billion education market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Orcas, co-founded by Hossam Taher and Amira El Gharib, offers personalized one-on-one tutoring services designed to enrich the learning experiences of students. The startup had raised a pre-Series A capital in 2023.

Following its complete acquisition by Baims, which is primarily oriented towards university and high school education, Orcas is now part of a holistic and adaptable ed-tech platform that caters to both K12 and university learning.

Baims has also raised over US$11 million, backed by prominent investors including Access Bridge Ventures, Algebra Ventures, NFX Ventures, AlWazzan Educational Group, Rasameel Investment Company, Seedstars International Ventures, and AK Holding, to help establish the new consolidated company as the number one ed-tech player in the MENA region.

“By acquiring Orcas Tutoring, we are not just expanding our reach; we are redefining the ed-tech landscape in MENA,” said Yousef AlHusaini, CEO of Baims.

“This consolidation enables us to offer a comprehensive learning experience, combining our online tailored recorded courses with Orcas Tutoring’s personalised one-to-one tutoring platform.”

Hossam Taher, CEO of Orcas, stated their goal of establishing product and market synergies. According to him, the plan is to introduce personalized K12 tutoring services in the GCC and subsequently expand their offering to cater to the diverse needs of university students.

The Middle East and Africa’s (MENA) education technology and smart classroom market is projected to grow by as much as US$7.1 billion by 2027 driven by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is accelerating the shift to digital education, according to a market research company Report Linker.

MENA’s edtech startups, including Orcas, are attracting funding as investors see a huge potential in the region that is home to nearly 100 million students, according to UNICEF.

Abu Dhabi-based holding firm ADQ invested in Indian edtech startup Byju’s in June 2021 nearly two years after Think & Learn Pvt Ltd., which operates Byju’s, secured US$150 million in a funding round that was led by Qatar Investment Authority and Owl Ventures in 2019.

Globally, education technology companies have seen a surge in the acceptance of their products and services over the past two years as more people have switched to remote learning amid the pandemic.

iSchool secures US$4.5 million

Egypt-based edtech startup iSchool has secured US$4.5 million in a funding round to fuel its global expansion, with plans to establish a new team in Dublin, Ireland.

The investment, led by VentureWave Capital, will serve as a springboard for iSchool to reach new markets and solidify its position as a leader in coding education for children.

Founded in 2018, iSchool offers live, gamified coding classes for students aged 6-18. Its curriculum covers a range of in-demand skills, including Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, app development, game development, and web development.

The startup has garnered significant traction in the Middle East and North Africa, boasting leadership roles in computer science labs, technical training, and partnerships with 35 schools.

Notably, iSchool has spearheaded national-level initiatives in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The $4.5 million investment will fuel iSchool’s ambitious expansion plans.

Additionally, the funding will enable iSchool to expand its reach in the MENA region, scale its online platform. and extend its reach in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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