Egyptian e-learning platform raises over $800,000 from UK and US angel investors

Its MVP was launched in January 2017 and has so far 1,000 users (Image via Knowledge Officer).

Knowledge Officer, an e-learning platform, raised £600,000 (US$ 833,500) from UK and US angel investors Ian Hurlock from Fox and Abdullah AlShaheen.

Based in London and built by an Egyptian team, Ahmed El-Sharkasy who was the first engineer and lead at Bkam.com, and Ahmed Eshra, the startup creates personalized and evolving learning paths for professionals to learn based on their career goals.

The startup will use the money to build and grow the team and to achieve the product’s market fit. Its MVP was launched in January 2017 and has so far 1,000 users. It launched its new concept last March and started attracting new users.

“We don't create our own courses, we curate content from a wide variety of sources and we mine the web for the best content everyday. We also use machine learning and NLP techniques to filter out the noise and give the users only the best of the best,” El-Sharkasy explained to Wamda.  

According to him, more people are adopting online learning to fix the education gap and to enrich their skills and knowledge. “There has been a healthy rise in the quality of online educational platforms and MOOCs in the MENA but this is not the solution to the problem,” he said. Knowledge Officer’s founders believe that the whole world is suffering from an information overload problem, and that a big amount of that content is of low quality. He added: “We want to be the gateway that will guide you to the best online content and courses that fit your profile and goals. Not just that, we organize this content in learning paths that include exact steps on how to reach your goal, being an expert in machine learning, a successful founder or a smart product manager.”

El-Sharkasy said that beside the access to capital and the community, the education sector is very hot in London. “I have been working in London for the past three years and a big reason of my move was to learn and increase the depth of my knowledge about the startups’ world to be ready at the right time to start my own business.”

“Our main focus currently is on the UK & US but we believe there is a strong potential in Egypt and India as well so we don't want to lose sight of them,” El-Sharkasy said.

In terms of monetization, the startup is in the course of validating a freemium model with users and premium model with SMEs. “We plan to generate revenue by Q3 this year and we expect to be profitable by mid-2019,” he said.

Knowledge Officer has three advisors: Osman Ahmed Osman, head of product systems engineering at Quora in the US and the founder of Akhbarek, Mohammad

Badrah, director of software engineering at Flipp in Canada and Jeffrey Ng, chief scientist at Founders Factory in London.

We see the world is shifting into discovery and recommendation more than search. You open netflix and watch the recommended films, you do the same with Spotify to listen to the best relevant music and even with Amazon, people are discovering items that they even did not know they want to buy!,” El-Sharkasy explained. He continued: “We want our product to serve the future of recommendation and discovery in education and learning. You just tell us more about yourself and what are your career goals and we take you on an the best and most engaging learning experience step by step.”

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