- Wamda has participated in UAE-based online English teaching platform Englease.com's $3.4 million Seed round, co-led by US-based LearnCapital and LearnStart. The round also saw participation from COTU, BY Venture Partners, Hambro Perks Oryx Fund, 500 Global, Dubai Angel Investors and A.L.M.A.
- Founded in 2019 by Omar Chihane, Englease aims to democratise access to synchronous English language education using technology.The edtech offers live English classes online, led by bilingual tutors delivering a UK accredited curriculum.
- The startup plans to use the fresh funds to expedite the development of its live class feature as well as accelerate its geographical expansion.
UAE-based online English teaching platform Englease.com has raised a $3.4 million seed round to further develop its online English synchronous (live) education solution and fuel expansion.
The oversubscribed round was co-led by two of the worlds’ largest EdTech investors, LearnCapital (US) and LearnStart (US) and joined by big name regional investors COTU (UAE), BY Venture Partners (UAE), Hambro Perks Oryx Fund (UAE/UK), Wamda (UAE), 500 Global (US/Saudi), Dubai Angel Investors (UAE) and A.L.M.A. (UAE)
Founder Omar Chihane’s aim is to make synchronous English language education possible at scale by leveraging the power of technology to deliver a high-quality product in a flexible and highly affordable way. The company is on a mission to help 1 million people become proficient in English.
Rob Hutter, founder and managing partner at LearnCapital said “We, at LearnCapital, believe that the single biggest contributing factor to a country’s GDP growth is leveraging its human capital, and Englease.com’s ability to deliver synchronous English education at scale and their focus on employability across the MENA region set them apart as a category leader in the region”
Omar Chihane added “English proficiency is the number one driver of employability in the MENA region, yet the region has the world’s lowest English proficiency rate and has had the world’s highest youth unemployment rate, according to the world bank, 25 years running. The only way to tackle this very real problem was to build a highly impactful solution that is both scalable and affordable"
Englease.com offers live English classes online round the clock, led by bilingual tutors delivering their own UK accredited curriculum. Students simply complete a proficiency assessment test before being granted unlimited access to live classes with Englease.com’s tutors.
Don Burton, managing partner at LearnStart added “We are impressed with what Omar and the team have been able to build in a short amount of time and most importantly the traction they have demonstrated across all segments and are quite confident that they are on pace to lead this category in the region”
Students pay a one-time fee for the ability to access unlimited live groups classes or select their 1-on-1 tutoring option for up to a full year thereby drastically bringing the cost of synchronous education down. Englease.com’s annual cost rivals the monthly fee of offline ESL (English as a Second Language) schools.
The global ESL market hit a record 1.72 billion learners in 2021 and is projected to grow at CAGR 15.8% until 2027. English is also the dominant language of the internet with over 60.4% of the top 10 million websites being in English, followed by Russian, a distant second at 8.5%.
Amir Farha, managing partner at COTU added “Speaking English can transform people’s lives, yet English education in the MENA region hasn’t evolved with the digital age. This represents both a massively impactful offering and a significant market opportunity. It’s not often you find both so prevalent in a business. Englease.com deciding to tackle this massive gap by offering synchronous (live) English education is no easy feat and their traction thus far is only a testament to Omar and his team’s bold vision, focus and relentlessness”
Englease.com attributes its early success to its product quality and stickiness as they further develop their reach through university and corporate partnerships