Investments

Jordan’s Abwaab raises $2.4 million in region’s largest pre-seed for its online tutoring platform

Jordanian edtech Abwaab has raised $2.4 million in a pre-seed round, it announced today in a statement to MENAbytes. According to our data, it is the largest pre-seed raised by a startup in the Middle East & North Africa.

The investors that took part in the round include Jordan’s Adam Tech Ventures, Egypt’s Endure Capital, UAE’s Equitrust, Jordan’s Innovative Startups SMEs Fund (ISSF), and a London-based investment fund. Some former and current executives of Uber and Netflix also took part in the round.

Founded about six months ago by a former Uber executive Hamdi Tabba and Mawdoo3’s former director of technology and product development Hussein Alsarabi, Abwaab is a Byju’s-like (the Indian edtech valued at $8 billion) online learning platform for secondary school students in the Middle East & North Africa.

The platform that was launched last month with 1,000 videos Arabic videos (produced by Abwaab itself) of STEM subjects tailored to the Jordanian (Tawjihi program) market allows students to learn at their own pace and test themselves. The video lessons Abwaab says are taught by highly experienced teachers.

The platform that offers a freemium subscription model features what it says are short engaging video lessons and visualized learning journeys. It also comes with tests and quizzes, and a performance dashboard, allowing students to receive instant feedback and keep an eye on how they’re doing.

According to its website, Abwaab sells its subscription for about $100 (JD 70) for each subject (Mathematics, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry) for an academic year. For about $200, the users can buy all the four subjects together.

The announcement and Abwaab’s launch comes at a time when schools and colleges almost all around the Middle East & North Africa have been closed due to Covid-19 fears and all the stakeholders of the educational ecosystem are looking for solutions that could support online learning.

In a statement, the Jordanian startup said that its “mission is to improve the out-of-school learning experience for Arabic-speaking youth by making high-quality education accessible to each and every student regardless of socioeconomic background.”

Hamdi Tabbaa, the co-founder and CEO of Abwaab who was previously the General Manager of Uber for GCC & Levant, said, “There is a clear lack of online educational resources for young people in MENA who are in their prime learning age (0-24) despite the fact that they currently make up half of the region’s population and rank one of the lowest on academic performance. By providing a high-quality, easily-accessible and fun learning experience, we believe that our product will have a powerful impact on generations to come.”

Hussein Alsarabi, Co-founder & CTO, Abwaab said that they’re planning to tailor the learning experience on an individual level, “We aim to harness the power of AI to provide each and every student a unique and personalized learning journey. I believe that AI will be an instrumental driver of change in edtech and we want to be at the forefront of this.”

The startup plans to use the investment to further develop its product and grow its team. It is obvious that Abwaab has plans to add content for other markets of the region but it hasn’t shared any details about those yet.

Zubair Naeem Paracha

Zubair Naeem Paracha

Founder at MENAbytes
A tech and startup enthusiast based in Lahore, Pakistan. Zubair apart from leading MENAbytes is also building Qraar, a career discovery and development platform for millennials in MENA. He can be reached on Linkedin, Twitter or zubair [at] menabytes [dot] com.
Zubair Naeem Paracha
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