Maqsad, a Pakistan-based EdTech company, has raised $2.1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Indus Valley Capital.
The funding round also saw participation from Alter Global, Fatima Gobi Ventures, and several angel investors from Pakistan, the Middle East, and Europe.
According to a press statement, the fresh funding will be used to ramp up hiring in the company, build its technology stack, and produce academic content.
Founded by Taha Ahmed, a consultant at US-based LEK Consulting, and Rooshan Aziz, an associate at BNP Paribas, Maqsad provides a one-stop shop for after-school academic content in a mix of English and Urdu to reach a wider section of school-going children. The platform also offers quizzes and other gamified features for students.
Maqsad said it will focus on the K-12 education in Pakistan, including 11th and 12th-grade math, with plans to expand into other STEM subjects for the next one-two years.
Speaking about the company, Rooshan Aziz, Co-founder of Maqsad, said in a statement,
"We believe everyone has a purpose. Maqsad’s mission is to enable Pakistani students to realize this purpose; whether you are a student from an urban center, such as Lahore, or from a remote village in Sindh: Maqsad believes in equal opportunity for all. Struggles of students during the early days of the pandemic motivated us to run a pilot. With promising initial traction and user feedback, the size of the opportunity to digitize the education sector became very clear."
According to Aziz, the education market size in Pakistan is estimated at $12 billion and is projected to increase to $30 billion by 2030.
Maqsad's co-founder Taha Ahmed said "It’s about more than just getting students to pass their exams. We want to start a revolution in the way Pakistani students learn, moving beyond rote memorization to a place of real comprehension."
The company plans to build it as a hybrid center offering online and offline courses like Byju’s and Aakash, and expand classes for adults such as MasterClass, the US-based online classes for adults, as its long-term plans.
Aatif Awan, Founder and Managing Partner of Indus Valley Capital said on the investment,
" 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."
Maqsad said it will launch its mobile app in the fourth quarter of 2021, and the company is currently maintaining a waitlist for early access.
The latest fundraise comes amid a surge in investments for startups in Pakistan across sectors such as e-commerce, logistics, fintech, heathtech, and EdTech among others. So far, 37 Pakistani startups have raised funding of $228 million this year, up from $77 million in 2020.