Dubai’s Geek Express raises $520,000 to provide STEAM education to children in MENA

Dubai and Beirut based edtech Geek Express has raised $520,000 in a pre-Series A round, it announced on Monday. The investment came from Saudi-based National Talents, Lebanon’s IM Capital, DHV Partners, and an angel investor. The round takes Geek Express’ total raise to $860,000, it said in a statement, adding that it had previously raised some money in an angel round in early 2019.

Founded in 2017 in Lebanon by Manal Hakim and Rayan Najdi, Geek Express provides STEAM education in different forms to children in the Middle East & North Africa. It offers learning experiences that include online and offline camps (in Beirut & Dubai) for kids and teens (5 to 17-year-olds), live online courses, and DIY educational kit that comes with video lessons.

It also has mobile apps for iOS and Android that enable parents to enroll their children in offline and online courses, and order the DIY kit. For the children, the app offers a gamified experience to learn different STEAM skills, enabling them to earn badges and points and track their progress throughout their journey.

The startup said that it currently has over 1,800 active students across the Middle East & North Africa who receive education from over 200 teachers on the platform. The teachers are supported by a team of community managers and developers of Geek Express.

“Students at Geek Express have the option of learning how to code, design, build, and create tangible projects that translate into reality. This is how students are able to process the concept and further develop their cognitive skills,” explained the edtech in a statement.

Manal Hakim, the co-founder and CEO of Geek Express said that the investment from National Talents (which is a STEM education provider in Saudi) will help them expand to Saudi. She also highlighted the fact that they have a 60-40 female to male ratio in their team and students.

Rayan Najdi, the co-founder and COO of Geek Express, said, “We’ve achieved great success in creating a hybrid learning model, teaching relevant skills to today’s youth. We believe Geek Express sets the foundation of a futuristic school whereby thousands of MENA students will have access to STEAM skills from the comfort of their homes.”

Geek Express said that it will use the investment to accelerate the development of its platform and secure content partnerships.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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