Former Uber Executive & AI Expert Join Forces to Take on Edtech with Backing From Global Investors.
Abwaab, MENA’s latest online learning platform, today announces the closing of its $2.4M USD pre-seed funding round – one of the largest of its kind in the region. The round was kicked off by Adam Tech Ventures and joined by Endure Capital, Equitrust, the World Bank-backed Innovative Startups SMEs Fund (“ISSF”), a London-based investment fund, a number of former and current executives from Uber and Netflix, among others. The startup plans to use this funding to develop its product and grow its team.
The Jordanian-based edtech startup was founded in September 2019 by Hamdi Tabbaa, former General Manager of Uber for the GCC & Levant, and AI expert Hussein Alsarabi, former director of technology & product development at Mawdoo3.com. Its mission is to improve the out-of-school learning experience for Arabic-speaking youth by making high-quality education accessible to each and every student regardless of socioeconomic background.
“There is a clear lack of online educational resources for young people in MENA who are in their prime learning age (0-24) despite the fact that they currently make up half of the region’s population and rank one of the lowest on academic performance. By providing a high-quality, easily-accessible and fun learning experience, we believe that our product will have a powerful impact on generations to come,” said Hamdi Tabbaa, Co-founder & CEO, Abwaab.
Abwaab’s website, which launched in early February of this year, offers a comprehensive and engaging online learning experience for secondary school students with programs tailored to specific markets in the region. From concept-based video lessons taught by highly experienced teachers to various forms of assessment and performance-tracking features, students get the unique opportunity to learn at their own pace, assess themselves and track their progress anytime and anywhere. The startup, which has a freemium subscription model, has begun rolling out its content, starting with STEM subjects tailored to the Jordanian market and has produced nearly 1000 videos to date.
“Not only are we planning on tailoring the learning experience on the country level, but also on the individual level. We aim to harness the power of AI to provide each and every student a unique and personalized learning journey. I believe that AI will be an instrumental driver of change in edtech and we want to be at the forefront of this,” said Hussein Alsarabi, Co-founder & CTO, Abwaab.
In recent years, MENA has experienced a boom in edtech startups with many attempting to take on the $20B after-school tutoring industry and address the lack of online educational resources for students in the region. Nevertheless, there is still more work that needs to be done. Despite being the 4th largest language globally, Arabic only accounts for 3% of content online which is a huge discrepancy that needs to be addressed.
“We see huge potential in Abwaab and are very excited to be supporting its mission. We can clearly see the impact Byju’s is having on the Indian market and strongly believe that Abwaab will have a similar effect in MENA,” said Dina Shawar, CEO, Adam Tech Ventures.