Amman-based EdTech startup Little Thinking Minds has raised $1.265 million in Series A funding, the startup announced today at the RiseUp Summit in Cairo. The round was led by largest Egyptian VC firm Algbera Ventures and joined by recently launched Dubai-based Mindshift Capital that invests in women-led companies, and Saudi’s Al Turki Group.
Founded in 2004 by Rama Kayyali and Lamia Tabbaa, the company originally used to create educational content in form of videos and other things for children, before transforming recently into an educational technologies and products provider, that creates digital solutions and platforms with the aim of improving learning outcomes for school aged children in Middle East & North Africa and beyond.
This was after the two co-founders were joined by Salwa Katkhuda in 2014 who started leading company’s strategy and growth. The three, capitalizing on the knowledge and experience they gained by interacting in the regional educational market, started developing online Arabic literacy solutions and platforms for schools, teachers, and students.
Speaking about their motivation to start Little Thinking Minds in 2004, Rama Kayyali, company’s co-founder and CEO, in a statement, noted, “As two mothers, we grew increasingly frustrated by the lack of engaging Arabic educational products for our children at home and in schools. We built Little Thinking Minds to fix this.”
The transformation into a technology company helped Little Thinking Minds a great deal as their products for both native and non-native Arabic speakers are now being used by over 200 schools and 80,000+ students across Middle East & North Africa.
The company, according to its website currently has three products.
I Read Arabic: A digital reading program designed to advance quality of Arabic language and fluency for children aged 6-14. It is available on web and as iOS/Android App.
I Start Arabic: A bilingual program designed to support the learning journey of non-native children aged 5-12, for whom Arabic is an additional language. I Start Arabic is also available on web and as iOS/Android App.
KG Arabic: A program that provides early early childhood educators and parents with engaging topic-based resources as building blocks for introducing young learners to the Arabic language. For children in the age group of 3-6 years old. Currently available on web only, Little Thinking Minds will soon be launching iOS and Android apps as well for the program.
Speaking about their decision to invest in Little Thinking Minds, Karim Hussrein, Managing Partner with Algebra Ventures, said, “The region has a booming student population, and this has put a huge strain on traditional education. The one-size-fits-all approach of traditional schooling is leaving many students behind. Little Thinking Minds is filling this gap and supplementing stressed education systems by providing high quality Arabic-language learning resources. LTM’s digital solutions enable self-directed & individualized student learning, and have had a demonstrated impact on improving educational outcomes.”
Speaking about how Little Thinking Minds plans to use the investment, Rama Kayyali, said, “This Series A round, led by Algebra, will support us in expanding our product portfolio as well empowering our product platforms with data tools and analytics that will improve student learning journeys and their outcomes. We wish to capitalize on our strong traction, perfect the user journey in terms of learning outcomes and user experience, and become the educational platform and partner of choice across the region.”
Last month a Lebanese EdTech startup KamKalima, also founded by female founders, had raised $1.5 million in Series A funding.