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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Edtech startup Maqsad raises $2.1m to make education accessible

Pakistani edtech startup 'Maqsad' gets $2.1 million in pre-seed money to help achieve its aim of increasing educational accessibility to the students of Pakistan. The platform is a one-stop-shop for after-school academic content with assessments for students.

Pakistani ed-tech startup Maqsad has raised $2.1 million in pre-seed money.

The pre-seed round, which was completed in just three weeks via virtual meetings, was led by Indus Valley Capital, with participation from Alter Global, Fatima Gobi Ventures, and several angel investors from Pakistan, the Middle East, and Europe.

Taha Ahmed and Rooshan Aziz, co-founders of Maqsad did something that everyone in Pakistan has been wanting to do for the millions of marginalized children in Pakistan.

Both left their rewarding jobs in London earlier in 2021 to found a mobile-only education platform startup, Maqsad, in Pakistan, with a goal “to make education more accessible to 100 million Pakistani students,” Tech Crunch reported. 

Taking to Twitter, Rooshan Aziz wrote, “Growing up with dyslexia meant I struggled at school and felt strongly about the Pakistani education ecosystem. That’s why last year when the pandemic hit and education for millions was impacted, Taha Ahmed and I got together to start Maqsad Pakistan.”

He added, “We initially started with a small pilot to help kids with math(in April 2021) but quickly realized the scale of the challenges faced by students. From then on, Maqsad Pakistan’s mission was to make high-quality education accessible to 100 million students in Pakistan.”

The company announced today its $2.1 million pre-seed round to enhance its content platform growth and invest in Research and Development.

Talking to Tech Crunch, Aziz said that Maqsad will use the proceeds for developing in-house content, such as production studio, academics, and animators, as well as bolstering R&D and engineering, adding that the company will focus on the ‘from kindergarten to 12th-grade’ education with 11th and 12th-grade math, with plans to expand into other STEM subjects for the next one-two years.

The platform will be a one-stop-shop for after-school academic content, creating accessibility by offering a mix of both English and Urdu. The content will be supplemented by quizzes and other features tailored to make education personalized for the users.

Co-founder Rooshan Aziz said that the platform has adaptive testing capabilities which alter a question’s level of difficulty based on users’ responses.

Taha Ahmed, a former employee at renowned L.E.K. Consulting in London, also commented on this development while talking to Tech Crunch. He said that Maqsad’s main purpose is more than just to enable children to pass exams.

He said that that the major reason for doing this is to revolutionize the education system in Pakistan, moving from the traditional rote learning system to a comprehension-based learning model.

The full-scale operations began for the company on 26th July, and that the mobile app, currently under development, will be launched in the ongoing quarter of 2021, and already has a waitlist for early access.

Rooshan Aziz noted that the market cap for the education sector in Pakistan is to grow from $12 billion currently to $30 billion by 2030, and the company plans to bank on this opportunity, bringing a hybrid center offering online and offline courses like Byju’s and Aakash, and expand classes for adults such as MasterClass, the U.S.-based online classes for adults, as its long-term plans.

Read More: The unfortunate reality of education in Balochistan

Indus Valley Capital’s Managing Partner Aatif Awan took to Twitter to say, “We’ve been looking to invest in a startup transforming education in Pakistan since Indus Valley’s inception. Maqsad founders’ deep understanding of the problem, unique approach to solving it, and passion for impact persuaded us quickly that this was the team to partner with.”

Congratulations poured in from a lot of people on social media, congratulating Maqsad and its team for taking up the task of increasing educational accessibility in Pakistan.