Egypt ed-tech firm eyes home turf for expansion [Wamda TV]

One of Egypt’s earliest technology companies is beginning to venture into its local education market, having already conquered the world.

ITWorx Education, a subsidiary of the Egypt-headquartered software services company ITWorx, signed an agreement with Microsoft covering North and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East last month. The deal allows them to piggyback off the US tech giant’s Office 365 platform to provide its collaborative teaching management software EduShare to educators.

Hatem Sallam, CEO of ITWorx Education, says the business is already a global entity, with customers in the US and the UK, Norway, the Gulf, Jordan, and Lebanon. He expects the alliance to boost active user numbers for the EduShare software alone from 750,000 daily users to three million in the next three years, but he refused to put a dollar figure on how valuable the deal would be for the company.

“I wouldn’t be able to give a very specific dollar value because you can monetize it in many different ways,” he said. Different platforms and markets will require different pricing, but he says the company hasn’t begun to calculate the bottom line benefit from the deal.

The next regions for expansion are Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Brazil, and Indonesia.

“These are the countries with the highest population in the region, and also where they most need development to actually make use of this population. Because we do believe that this human power is the most powerful thing that we are after and we want to be part of the engine that will motivate this huge power to act, and have the potential to do it,” Sallam told Wamda.

In Egypt, the company is currently negotiating with the Ministry of Education to start an IT-in-schools project.

ITWorx Education began operating in the country six months ago when it partnered with Telecom Egypt to provide its software to 10 private schools. Salam has his eye on the 18 million primary and secondary students in the country. To reach those students and expand aggressively into the Middle East’s largest market, the company will cut product prices to 10 times less than in other countries.

Moreover, during an interview with local newspaper Daily News Egypt Sallam said the company was in talks with a “global company” which wants to acquire it.

As ITWorx Education plans to expand into markets as far flung as Brazil and Indonesia, Sallam says they haven’t forgotten their entrepreneurial roots. He mentors four entrepreneurs, three of whom are based in Egypt, and the parent company has spawned “tens and tens” of startups since it started in 1994 (the education business was registered in Egypt in 2003).

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