“We are building a mobile-first platform"
An Edtech startup in Pakistan has raised $2.1 million, the largest ever fund for a platform of its kind in the country.
Karachi-based Maqsad aims to make education more accessible to the 100 million students across the country.
The amount secured is a result of the platform’s pre-seed round led by venture capital fund, Indus Valley Capital.
Completed in just three weeks through virtual meetings, Alter Global and Fatima Gobi Ventures took part in the round as well.
Several angel investors from the Middle East and Europe as well as Pakistan itself also helped to raise the funds.
Maqsad, which takes its name after the word for ‘purpose’ in Urdu, provides personalised after-school academic content.
Co-founder Rooshan Aziz said: “We believe everyone has a purpose.
“Maqsad’s mission is to enable Pakistani students to realise this purpose.
“Whether you are a student from an urban centre, such as Lahore, or from a remote village in Sindh: Maqsad believes in equal opportunity for all.
“We are building a mobile-first platform, given that 95% of broadband users in Pakistan are via mobile. Most other platforms are not mobile optimised.”
Co-founder Taha Ahmed added:
“It’s about more than just getting students to pass their exams.”
“We want to start a revolution in the way Pakistani students learn, moving beyond rote memorisation to a place of real comprehension.”
The investment in the edtech startup will be used to enhance content platform growth and research and development.
The pair also now want to expand into other subjects and add game-like features such as quizzes and rewards within the next two years.
Ahmed and Aziz are childhood friends who attended school together in Karachi before attending university in London and securing jobs in the city upon graduation.
However, Aziz said: “Nothing was clicking and then Covid-19 happened and we saw the scale of online education in India, Indonesia and Jordan.
“Struggles of students during the early days of the pandemic motivated us to run a pilot.
“With promising initial traction and user feedback, the size of the opportunity to digitise the education sector became very clear.”
Pakistan is seeing record investment in startups with $244 million raised so far in 2021, according to Bloomberg.
Aziz added that the education sector in the country is estimated to be worth $12 billion and is projected to increase to $30 billion by 2030.