Morocco-based edtech Smartprof, an online tutoring marketplace for school-aged students has secured a pre-Seed funding round of $110,000 from Plug and play, UM6P Ventures and a couple of angel investors, including a $50,000 raised earlier in July. It is backed by different institutions such as l’École Centrale Casablanca and UM6P startup campus, Startgate.
SmartProf was founded in 2021 by Hamza and Mustapha Faiz and Ali Faouiz, and aims to become a one-stop-shop edtech platform for private tutoring in North and West Africa, a market that is worth billions of dollars according to the startup.
“We launched Smartprof after noticing that the private educational system was failing in Morocco. We were convinced that every student needs some kind of private assistance in order to overcome the challenges faced at schools. The private tutoring market is very fragmented; finding a tutor is a nightmare. Additionally, there’s no visibility on pricing, so there was a real need for a tech product that creates a great tutoring experience,” said Faiz.
“One of the major challenges of our company is the complex and poor payment infrastructure in Morocco. But the market opportunity for us remains huge, that’s why we try to adapt as much as possible to a very rigid banking system,” he added
With public educational systems becoming increasingly competitive, shadow education, also known as private tutoring, has been growing at a phenomenal rate. Due to rising demand, startups across the region have been looking to digitise the private tutoring experience and plug the gap in attainment for families and students relying on this type of education.
Smartprof intends to use the new funding to extend its footprint in Morocco and West Africa, and hire further developers to improve the product’s quality.