UAE-based edtech almentor has raised $10mn in growth capital in a pre-series C round led by e& capital, the tech investment arm of e& including existing investors such as Partech, Sawari Ventures, Egypt Ventures, Sango Capital and Endure Capital.
The proceeds will be used to accelerate almentor’s growth towards its goal of serving ten million learners in the MENA region. In particular, the company will use the funds to increase its investment in the B2C segment and to expand in Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Ihab Fikry, co-founder and CEO of Almentor, and Mr Ibrahim Kamel, co-founder and COO, said that “Empowering ten million learners is a key milestone in almentor’s broader vision of creating hope and development opportunities for the people in MENA. We are very proud and excited to partner with an institution such as e& to create further impact in almentor’s journey.”
almentor targets a market of more than 400 million Arabic speakers with underserved educational needs. The MENA region’s population is growing at a faster pace than the populations of developed markets, however, the region remains lagging in its spending and investment in education. It suffers from a high ratio of students to teachers – 16.5 in the UAE, 19.6 in KSA, and 24.2 in Egypt, relative to 15.1 in the US and in the UK. almentor bridges the gap by providing affordable education and improving learners’ access to the employment market.
Since 2016, almentor has worked with more than 950 mentors to create over 1,000 online courses for individuals, corporations, and government entities. The start-up recently launched its monthly & annual subscription plans where learners get unlimited access to a library of over 700 courses on topics as diverse as health, humanities, technology, entrepreneurship, business management, lifestyle, drama, sports, corporate communication, and digital media.
Eddy Farhat, Vice President at e& capital says: “We believe education is at an inflexion point in how it is delivered and consumed. Our investment in almentor aims to capitalize on this economic opportunity while driving tangible educational impact in our fast-growing region. We believe that almentor’s personalised learning experiences and high-quality Arabic content will be instrumental in achieving this goal. We are impressed with the experience of the founding team and the fresh perspective that the new senior hires bring onboard, and we will collaborate with them to support their vision and help them realize their aspirations.”
Awad Capital Ltd., a DFSA-regulated company, is acting as a financial advisor to the company on its capital raising. Ziad Awad, CEO of Awad Capital comments: “We are proud to be supporting Almentor in its mission of bringing affordable quality education to all”.
As part of its growth plans, almentor has recently made several senior hires and key promotions, including:
Sonia Lekhal (Chief Customer Officer): Sonia joins almentor following her time as Chief Marketing Officer at talabat. She previously held the positions of Chief Marketing Officer at OSN, VP of Digital Marketing at Emirates and Regional Marketing Director at Souq.com. Sonia’s wealth of experience in the field of marketing will enable almentor to unlock its next stage of growth.
Adel Khalil (Chief Technology Officer): Adel was most recently a VP of Engineering at talabat. He had previously held the role of CTO at Vezeeta. Adel will work on continually enhancing the almentor product and technology to ensure the highest customer satisfaction.
Sally Metwally (Chief Business Development Officer): Sally has been with almentor for over four years and was instrumental in building the Enterprise, Government and B2B verticals. Sally has previously held senior business development roles at ITWORX, Misr El Kheir Foundation and TIEC. Sally will continue establishing key partnerships between almentor and corporate and government institutions.
Tharwat Ibrahim (Chief Finance Officer): Tharwat has spent over 20 years at ExxonMobil Egypt, most recently as a Controls Manager.
Ahmed Faysal (Chief Content Production Officer): Ahmed has been with Almentor for over 6 years, holding the roles of Educational Media Senior Director and Media Production Director. Ahmed will now lead content design and operations.