Cairo-based education technology (edtech) platform MARJ3 has raised a seed investment round led by Expert DOJO, US-based investment firm, and joined by a number of angel investors. The amount of the funding was not disclosed.
MARJ3 was founded in 2016 when CEO and co-founder Sami Al-Ahmad was working on an initiative encouraging Syrians to complete their education. The platform works to help students across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region to find and connect with educational opportunities and access internationally-accredited courses. It currently attracts 2.4 million monthly visits from students eager to explore the opportunities listed on MARJ3 which reached more than 10,000.
“Covid-19 caused a forced transformation to learning, accelerating it to advanced learning. Universities that did not have the infrastructure to transform faced challenges,” Al-Ahmed told Wamda.
“Overall, universities saw changes to their competitive advantages, if a university was known for its great campus, it became not as important as offering flexible learning. This changed the user behaviour and made traditional methods of learning inefficient,” he added. “Over the last few years, we have been working to create a virtual market tailored to the regional culture.”
This new investment is aimed to support MARJ3’s blended business model and boost the growth of universities onboarding to the platform from all over the world. Additionally, it will help accelerate MARJ3’s team expansion plan in line with the increasing demand.
The investment comes soon after the platform released a major update, MARJ3 2.0 Beta, which created three departments, the first is MARJ3 Education, a major directory of universities around the world for users to screen through; the second is MARJ3 courses, a database for online courses that enables students to enrol in global courses; and the third is MARJ3 scholarships, which features both educational scholarships and funded opportunities for trainings, programmes, grants and accelerators targeted at youth.
MARJ3 saw a 15x revenue growth during Covid-19, reflecting universities eagerness to shift online quickly in response to the lockdown measures.
“The need for online adoption is significantly increasing. Our assumption is that we will see exponential growth over the upcoming months in universities onboarding and number of users. Universities have seen an effective way for recruiting students it is unlikely they will revert to traditional methods after Covid-19 is over,” said Al-Ahmad added.
MARJ3 targeted international investors for this round as the platform eyes further global expansion over the next few months.“Expert DOJO are so pleased to have invested in what we believe is going to be the ground zero for educational information globally. This team is poised for explosive growth over the 12 months and we are looking forward to supporting them with funds and connections ongoing,” said Brian Mac Mahon, CEO of Experts DOJO.