Egypt's edtech Orcas raises $2.1 million
- Cairo-based edtech Orcas has raised $2.1 million in its pre-Series A round, co-led by CIRA’s NFX Ventures and Access Bridge Ventures, with participation from Algebra Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures, Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund, and Seedstars International.
- Co-founded by Hossam Taher and Amira El Gharib in 2019, Orcas is a mobile application that connects parents and students with nearby tutors or online courses, video tutorials and practice questions.
- The new funding will enable Orcas to continue building its technology product, attract more talents, and expand to new geographies in MENAP, as it will start its operations in Lahore, Pakistan in early 2022.
Egyptian live learning edtech startup, Orcas, has raised $2.1 million in its latest funding round co-led by CIRA’s NFX Ventures, and Access Bridge Ventures. This pre-series A round recorded participation from Algebra Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures, Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund, and Seedstars International.
Orcas aims to unlock digital live learning capabilities for schools and teachers both offline and online in Egypt, KSA, and Pakistan (MENAP). Orcas’ platform provides an online discovery channel for parents to find tutors and hybrid courses. The hybrid learning experience offers personalised learning plans, learning style assessments, and practice assignments for each learner to guarantee the most tailored learning experience possible while empowering tutors to provide high-quality learning sessions.
"Learners today have different needs that edtech companies must cater to. For that reason, we have evolved into a learning platform that offers the complete spectrum of teacher-led & self-paced learning environments. With the funding, we will be able to continue to build our technology product, attract the best talent, and expand to new geographies in MENAP," said CEO of Orcas, Hossam Taher.
This is considered the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund’s first investment.
"Our investment in Orcas encompasses everything we’ve built CASF for. The fund was designed to double down and invest in our best-performing startups and to continue supporting amazing founders like Hossam and Amira to build great businesses. We are very proud of Orcas’ performance so far and we are confident that with this latest investment they will continue to be market leaders within the space and will now be able to add more exciting educational solutions using cutting edge technology and to bring these products to new markets,” said Aly El Shalakany, CEO of the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund.
Co-founded by Hossam Taher and Amira El Gharib in 2019, Orcas provides K-12 students with live 1-on-1 tutoring sessions, both online and in-person. By offering flexible payment plans, discounted packages, and instalment programmes, Orcas is the most affordable high-quality learning platform that enables parents to support their children's education.
Alongside offering study guidance, tutors also complete learning style assessments about each learner to determine the best practices for each student. These are then used to create personalized learning plans tailored to the students’ needs for the entire academic year.
The platform also provides self-paced learning environments to complement the learning experience. This is offered through gamified and free question banks that are mapped to
various learning systems and students’ ages. All users have free access to high-quality academic exercises designed by Orcas Education Department.
Since launching the feature in early November 2021, Orcas’ question banks have been adopted by many schools and school teachers as a form of auto-graded and credible homework source.
“Access Bridge Ventures continues to build on its deep global expertise in the education sector and Orcas is our second investment since our launch in 2021 in Edtech. We invest in innovative ideas, marketplaces, and technologies that will disrupt the traditional education model and create easier, better, and cheaper education access for kids globally. The team from Orcas is a perfect example of a strong team with strong technology that is looking to address a key emerging market problem.”, said Issa Aghabi, Managing Director at Access Bridge Ventures.
Earlier this year, Orcas also announced a partnership with CIRA’s school network to offer after-school hybrid learning programs for students who need extra help. This service is currently available in multiple cities and governorates in Egypt including Cairo, Assiut, and Suez.
“Going into this partnership, it was essential to find a partner that shared our same ethos, offering affordable quality education in underserved regions. With our visions aligned, this JV brings the best of both worlds. I am personally excited to see the outcome of joining forces between EdTech pioneers and innovators alongside established industry players; moreover, the benefit and impact that this partnership shall have on the students and their families.” - Ahmed El Kalla, CIRA Board Member and Managing Director of NFX Capital.
Orcas will be starting their operations in Lahore, Pakistan in early 2022 to help the students in the 5th largest country in the world find high-quality tutors and personalized learning plans.