Orcas, a Cairo-based live learning EdTech startup, has raised $2.1 million in a pre-series A funding round co-led by CIRA’s NFX Ventures and Access Bridge Ventures.
The round also saw participation from Algebra Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures, Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund, and Seedstars International.
Co-founded by Hossam Taher and Amira El Gharib in 2019, Orcas provides K-12 students with live 1-on-1 tutoring sessions, both online and in-person. It aims to unlock digital live learning capabilities for schools and teachers both offline and online in Egypt, KSA, and Pakistan (MENAP). The platform provides an online discovery channel for parents to find tutors and hybrid courses. The hybrid learning experience offers personalized learning plans, learning style assessments, and practice assignments for each learner to guarantee the most tailored learning experience possible while empowering tutors to provide high-quality learning sessions.
Speaking about the company and the new funding, Hossam Taher, Co-founder & CEO of Orcas, said,
"Learners today have different needs that Edtech companies must cater to. For that reason, we have evolved into a learning platform that offers the complete spectrum of teacher-led & self-paced learning environments. With the funding, we will be able to continue to build our technology product, attract the best talent, and expand to new geographies in MENAP."
Orcas’ platform also provides self-paced learning environments to complement the learning experience. This is offered through gamified and free question banks that are mapped to various learning systems and students’ ages. All users have free access to high-quality academic exercises designed by Orcas Education Department.
Ahmed El Kalla, CIRA Board Member and Managing Director of NFX Capital, said,
"Going into this partnership, it was essential to find a partner that shared our same ethos, offering affordable quality education in underserved regions. With our visions aligned, this JV brings the best of both worlds. I am personally excited to see the outcome of joining forces between EdTech pioneers and innovators alongside established industry players; moreover, the benefit and impact that this partnership shall have on the students and their families."
Issa Aghabi, Managing Director at Access Bridge Ventures, also commented,
"Access Bridge Ventures continues to build on its deep global expertise in the education sector and Orcas is our second investment since our launch in 2021 in Edtech. We invest in innovative ideas, marketplaces, and technologies that will disrupt the traditional education model and create easier, better, and cheaper education access for kids globally. The team from Orcas is a perfect example of a strong team with strong technology that is looking to address a key emerging market problem."
Earlier this year, Orcas also announced a partnership with CIRA’s school network to offer after-school hybrid learning programs for students who need extra help. This service is currently available in multiple cities and governorates in Egypt including Cairo, Assiut, and Suez.
According to a press statement, Orcas will be starting their operations in Lahore, Pakistan in early 2022 to help the students in the country find high-quality tutors and personalized learning plans.