Noon Academy- Business Idea, Value Proposition, and Everything else about the company

Over the course of the last two years, edtech has gained tremendous momentum. Especially, after the advent of the pandemic when academic institutions resorted to online education, edtech startups started playing a pivotal role in providing students with much-needed tutions and additional course material to help them understand their curriculum better.

While previously EdTech was largely focused on serving education, we see the next generation of EdTech companies adopting a student-centric approach. Noon Academy is one such startup, which is focused on spearheading efforts toward direct-to-student learning.

What is Noon Academy?

Founded back in 2013, by Mohammed Aldhalaan and Dr. Abdulaziz Alsaeed, the Saudi-based firm spent seven years and thousands of data-driven experiments to be finally able to launch Noon Academy as a comprehensive online learning platform, with over six million registered users. Over the past year, the startup claims to have seen an exponential rise in student growth.

The Saudi startup claims to have doubled its user base adding 3 million new students to its platform since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak. The company’s main differentiator lies in its functionality. Its platform incorporates social and gamification features which makes the learning experience not only unique but also enjoyable and collaborative. This is done through study groups, peer engagement, and contests. This feature alone has resulted in its social learning platform achieving 5 times the global industry average of a student’s daily engagement.

Background of Founders

Mohammed Aldhalaan

Mohammed is an alumnus of King Saud University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. He started his early career at the Riyadh-based company, SIDF as a Senior Credit Analyst.

In 2011, he co-founded the Ridah-based startup CloudTech Company. Then over the course of the next few years, he served at Elm Company in different capacities until finally in 2014 when he joined Noon Academy as a co-founder and CEO.

Aziz Alsaeed

Aziz like his colleague is also an alumnus of King Saud University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. After completing his undergrad, he went for a Master’s in Computer Security and Resilience at Newcastle University.

In 2014, he joined Noon Academy as a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer(COO). Then in 2015, he completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Newcastle University. While in 2017, he completed his executive education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Why Noon Academy?

The startup plans to incorporate additional functionalities, in an attempt to enable schools around the world to use the platform easily for their specific needs. This is particularly relevant as students will continue to follow a hybrid educational model for the foreseeable future.

On top of this, Noon’s web and mobile-based platform offers tutoring and free educational content following a premium model, while providing users with free access to basic content. For advanced content and access to private tutors, the users are required to pay a monthly fee. The platform, according to a statement, has attracted 2 million students and 1,500 certified tutors to date.

Noon Academy also focuses on helping students pass the Saudi general aptitude test and the achievement test, and is accredited by the Saudi National Centre of Assessment (QIYAS).

Mohammed Aldhalaan, Noon Academy’s co-founder and CEO, in a statement, said:

Our fully interactive and fun platform has been built on the insight that the biggest obstacle to learning isn’t comprehension, but rather boredom. With this investment, we’re aiming to bring together 50 million students and tutors from around the world by 2023.

Funding Secured:

Pre-Series B Round: Raised $13 million

In 2021, Noon Academy raised $13 million in a series B funding round led by Riyadh-based Saudi Technology Ventures (STV) where additional investors include Alturki Holding and Ahmed El Kalla’s NFX Ventures, according to a joint statement by Noon Academy and STV, the three-year-old fund anchored by Saudi Telecom Company also participated.

Series A Round: Raised $8.6 million

In 2019, the startup raised $8.6 million in Series A co-led by Raed Ventures and Saudi Technology Ventures (STV). At the time, this was the largest-ever funding round raised by an EdTech startup from the Middle East & North Africa.

The round also included participation from:

  • Saudi-based Alisamiah Investment
  • Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC)
  • Careem co-founder Abdulla Elyas
  • Dr. Abdulrahman Aljadhai, CEO of Elm, and Mazen Aljubair

Future Plans:

The platform plans to use the recent round of investment to support the opening of a new company hub in London, where Product, Design, and Data Science teams will be based, and further aims to bring together 50 million students and tutors from around the world by 2023.

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