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Pakistani edtech startup Maqsad gets $2.1M pre-seed

Pakistani ed-tech startup-Maqsad was founded this year. It was founded with a goal to make education more accessible to 100 million Pakistani students. Its founders Taha Ahmed and Rooshan Aziz left their jobs in London in order to found this company. Earlier, they used to work in the areas of strategy consulting and investment banking in London.

Inspiration behind Maqsad

Ahmed and Aziz, the founders of Maqsad, have grown up in Karachi. Living there, they realized the hardships children have to go through to get a decent education. Furthermore, the challenges are double for the kids not living in urban areas. Data says that kids are less likely to go to school with every kilometer of the distance between school and their home. Moreover, girls are four times more affected by this factor.

Hence, Maqsad announced its $2.1 million pre-seed round to enhance its content platform growth and invest in R&D.

Details of the investment round

The pre-seed round was completed via virtual meetings in just 3 weeks. It 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.

Maqsad will use the proceeds for developing in-house content. The content will range from production studio, academics, and animators, as well as bolstering R&D and engineering.

Maqsad will focus on K-12 education in Pakistan. This includes 11th and 12th-grade math. Their plan is to expand into other STEM subjects in the next one-two year.

The platform provides a one-stop-shop for after-school academic content. In fact, all of the content is in a mix of English and Urdu. Similarly, the plan is to supplement the existing content with quizzes and gamified features to make study a more interesting matter. A unique feature of this platform is that it has adaptive testing that alters a question’s level of difficulty depending on the user’s responses.

Team of Maqsad

Maqsad means purpose in Urdu.

The makers are building a mobile-first platform. Because 95% of broadband users in Pakistan are mobile users. Furthermore, most of the other platforms are not mobile optimized.

It’s about more than just getting the students to pass the exams. We want to start a revolution in the way Pakistani students learn, moving beyond rote memorization to a place of real comprehension.

co-founder Taha Ahmed, a former strategy consultant at LEK.

Future plans and opportunities

The company ran small pilots in April and May and started full-scale operations on 26 July. Consequently, Maqsad will launch its mobile app which is currently under development, in the coming months in Q4 2021. It already has a waitlist for early access. The education market size in Pakistan is estimated at $12 billion and is projected to increase to $30 billion by 2030, according to Aziz.

It plans to build the company as 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, Aziz said.

“Maqsad founders’ deep understanding of the problem, unique approach to solving it, and passion for impact persuaded us quickly,” the founder and managing partner of Indus Valley Capital, Aatif Awan, said.

“Pakistan’s edtech opportunity is one of the largest in the world and we are excited to back Maqsad in delivering tech-powered education that levels access, quality, and across Pakistan’s youth and creates lasting social change,” Ali Mukhtar, general partner of Fatima Gobi Ventures said.

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