Teacherly raises $1 million seed to reinvent teacher collaboration and communication

Teacherly, a London-headquartered edtech startup with presence in the United Arab Emirates, has raised $1 million in seed funding (with another $500,000 as an option for follow-on) from Abu Dhabi-based Shorooq Partners (previously Shorooq Investments), the startup told MENAbytes today.

Founded in 2016 by Atif Mahmood, an educator himself, Teacherly is a collaborative lesson planning and peer-to-peer coaching platform designed for teachers. The platform enables teachers to plan lessons, communicate and collaborate digitally and claims that it helps them save 67 percent of their time while planning lessons and managing communications. The lessons planned and created on Teacherly could be assigned to students by inviting them to the platform.

The platform that can be used by any educator or learning provider (even if they’re not associated with an institution) comes with instant access to thousands of exemplar lesson templates, making it easy for a teacher to plan a lesson in different leaning episodes and phases. The content, it currently offers, includes the English, American and UAE Curriculum covering International Baccalaureate (IB).

The teachers also have the options to select other subjects, create their own content, and even incorporate other personal development or workplace skills into the curriculum.

After establishing itself in the United Kingdom, Teacherly expanded to MENA with its launch in UAE last year.

Atif Mahmood, the co-founder and CEO of Teacherly, in a conversation with MENAbytes said that they’re currently focusing on UAE in the Middle East but have plans to expand Teacherly to Saudi, and then North Africa within the next two years.

“We are aggressively going after the 10 biggest countries in Middle East and have a team and execution plan ready. We have built a team that already has experience of building an edtech brand in MENA,” he said.

The startup according to a statement already serves over 70,000 Monthly Active Users (the teachers – this number does not include the students) and is set to grow +4x this year.

“Despite our low marketing effort, these impressive growth metrics are a testimony to the positive reception and validation of the service by the teaching community,” said the startup in a statement.

Atif Mahmood, commenting on the investment, said, “Despite the recent growth in edtech, the teaching population in the Middle East is still heavily overlooked and underserved by the latest technology. We are confident that with Shorooq’s expertise and support we can create value and solve important problems for the education space here.

Shane Shin, Founding Partner at Shorooq Partners, said, “Education is still one of the more conventional spaces that is underserved by the latest technology, and we are delighted to enter the space through a truly disruptive venture. We are excited to join the journey of Teacherly at such an early stage and are committed to building it together – supporting it to grow its strong presence in the Middle East and further penetrate the European market. We believe that Teacherly solves a unique problem that few businesses have identified, let alone solve effectively, and is poised for exponential growth.”

Kunal Savjani, Partner at Shorooq, said, “I have known Atif for a long time and he is one of the most sincere, dedicated and knowledgeable Founders. With him spearheading the business and our strategic support, Teacherly is positioned in a fantastic spot to become a leading player in the edtech space.”

Teacherly plans to use the investment to further grow the team and execute its expansion plans.

Update – Sep 22, 2019 – 10 AM GMT: A previous version of this story (citing the information previously provided by Teacherly) noted that they’ve raised $1.5 million in this round. The investment, as later informed by Teacherly, stands at $1 million (with the additional $500,000 as an option for follow-on investment by Shorooq). We have updated the article to reflect this information.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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