Egyptian founders win $500,000 grant in the United Kingdom for their edtech startup ‘Knowledge Officer’

Knowledge Officer, a London-based edtech startup founded by two Egyptians; Ahmed El-Sharkasy and Ahmed Eshra, has won $500,000 (over £400,000) grant from Innovate UK, United Kingdom’s innovation agency, the startup announced in a statement to MENAbytes last week. The grant called ‘Smart’ according to Innovate UK’s website is for ‘best game-changing or disruptive ideas (from any area of technology) with a view to commercialization.’

Knowledge Officer that also has an office in Alexandria (Egypt), in a statement, said that they will receive the money after presenting their research and results later this year, to take their platform to the next level.

This is a pretty significant amount of money, especially considering the fact that Knowledge Officer’s seed round that it raised in March last year was ~$750,000 (£600,000).

Knowledge Officer helps users transition into new careers by analyzing their current skills against their dream career and creating a customized learning path to help them learn the skills needed for the new career of their choice. The six areas that it currently covers include founder, product manager, growth manager, machine learning engineer, marketing specialist, and customer success.

The users are offered curated learning material from around the web that comes with challenges and the option to track one’s progress. The users are required to answer different questions at every stage to advance to the next one and can even compete with their friends on Knowledge Officer.

The platform at different points throughout a user’s learning journey also notifies them when their recently acquired skills match with the relevant jobs on different recruitment platforms.

Knowledge Officer in a statement to MENAbytes noted that winning this grant is further validation of both the problem they’re looking to solve and the approach that they’re using to do it, “This grant was awarded based on the significance of the problem the Knowledge Officer is working to solve – building the best path-to-employment platform and promoting data-driven learning at scale. The Smart grant is awarded to game-changing ideas from business with strong evidence of impact. Knowledge Officer was one of just a few startups selected for the fund from 500 applications”

Ahmed El-Sharkasy, co-founder and CEO of Knowledge Officer, commenting on the occasion, said, “The grant will help us scale our ML team in London and support our ambition to help millions of job seekers find the right and proven path to pursue their dream career goals at an affordable price. It’s a huge under-served market and we are here to serve the unserved”

“In our journey to create the shortest and most efficient path to employment, think [of Knowledge Officer as] Google Maps for learning. We wanted to change the way people perceive learning and transform the overall experience to be based on data and ML. Imagine the impact of a concrete route to take you from your current skill set (Point A) and a transformed, aspirational state (Point B), where you are being offered your dream job.”

Knowledge Officer, according to the statement, has more than 100,000 users now with a few thousand active users on a weekly basis. The startup that offers a premium subscription with extra learning tools to both individuals and businesses aims to reach a stable MRR by the end of 2019 from both B2C and B2B revenue streams.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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