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Sunday, 16 January 2022

Orcas raises USD 2.1 mn pre-series A round

EXCLUSIVE- Orcas raises USD 2.1 mn pre-series A round: Egyptian edtech startup Orcas raised USD 2.1 mn in a pre-series A round co-led by our friends at CIRA’s NFX Ventures, and Access Bridge Ventures, according to a statement (pdf). Algebra Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures, Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund (CASF), and Seedstars International also participated.

Next steps: Orcas aims to use the funding to develop its technology, hire new talent and expand into new markets in MENAP. Its tech needs to be customizable but also scalable to smoothly operate in different markets, co-founder and CEO Hossam Taher tells us. Operations started in Pakistan’s Lahore in early 2022 and Orcas is planning to expand into the KSA next, he adds. “We’re looking to expand in markets that have a large young population and high out-of-pocket tutoring expenses.”

What does Orcas do? Founded in 2019, the platform offers online and in-person tutoring and courses for K-12 students as well as personalized learning plans, learning-style assessments, and practice assignments.

This marks CASF’s first investment after launching last month as a micro-VC fund to fill the “missing middle” between post-seed and pre-series A investments.

Orcas and CIRA are becoming firm friends: The two firms teamed up last year on a JV to co-develop an online social learning platform for after-hours support to students. The hybrid platform, which makes use of Orcas’ online tools as well as CIRA’s 21-strong school network, is now available in governorates including Cairo, Assiut and Suez.

Edtech startups raised eight investment rounds in 2021, up three from the year before, putting edtech among the most popular sectors for investment. Read our What’s Next story recapping investment in Egypt’s startup scene last year.

IN OTHER STARTUP NEWS-

  • El Sisi wants the WYF to set up an incubator: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has directed the World Youth Forum’s management to establish a global incubator for startups and SMEs, involving private sector firms, international lenders and development organizations.
  • Foodtech startup 3attar raised an undisclosed seed round from AUC Angels, UI Investment and individual angel investors, according to a statement picked up by Wamda. The B2C health foods platform aims to expand its customer base and develop its tech with the funding.

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