The advent of the pandemic bought with it many new normals for the world. One such normal that took academia by storm was the choice of online learning, which in turn birthed many new online learning platforms around the globe.
One such Jordan-based online learning platform is Adwaab, which made education accessible to secondary school students throughout the MENAP region and provided tough competition to some of the newly emerging platforms such as Noon Academy, Edkasa, and Ashtar.
EdTech ecosystems in emerging venture markets secured great investor traction in 2020, with 31 deals raising more than $40 million for EdTech start-ups in Mena last year, according to data platform Magnitt. Mena-based EdTech start-ups have raised 39 percent fewer deals so far this year, with a 38 percent drop in capital deployed year to date.
What is Adwaab?
Abwaab is an e-learning platform that claims to have changed the way students learn outside the classroom by making high-quality, outcome-driven education more cheap and accessible to all. By offering short, engaging video lessons, continuous assessment, and performance analytics, the platform allows students to get ahead, learn at their own pace, and test themselves with expert tutors anytime and anywhere.
Since its launch in 2019, Abwaab has expanded into Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Pakistan, covering the 12th and 10th grades of different education boards. During the pandemic-induced lockdown, when children were unable to attend regular school, Abwaab experienced rapid development. According to stats, the startup grew 10x in terms of the number of active users in 2020-21.
In a statement, Hamdi Tabbaa, co-founder, and CEO of Abwaab chalked out the startup’s objective:
Our objective since origin has been to make learning more accessible, inexpensive, and exciting, by establishing a full ecosystem that improves the way students learn, while also equipping them with the tools needed to move ahead in life
Background of Founders
Hamdi is an alumnus of the King’s College London and graduated with a bachelor’s in Business Management. After completing his undergrad, he went for a Masters in Real Estate Economics and Finance at the London School of Economics.
In 2009, he founded and launched Dukkan. In 2015, he joined Uber as Operations and Logistics Manager. Over the course of the next five years, he served at Uber in different capacities. Then finally in 2019, he co-founded Abwaab.
Sabri graduated from the New York Institute of Marketing with a bachelor’s in International marketing. In 2007, he co-founded the community Talasim and in 2011, he co-founded the community Jeeran. In 2015, he joined Careem, Jordan as General Manager.
Then in 2019, he joined Abwaab as a co-founder and COO.
Hussein graduated from Princess Sumaya University for Technology with a bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering. After that, he completed his MBA at the German Jordanian University. Later in 2017, he completed his second Masters in Interactive Intelligence.
In 2006, he founded ELSIRAJ and in 2008, he joined Communities Tech as a Founder and General Manager. He founded a number of other startups including, Bangaia, Instructit, and Zaawi. Then for the next couple of years, he served at Mawdoo3.com in different capacities, until in 2019 he joined Abwaab as co-founder and CTO.
According to Abwaab, it competes by providing micro-lessons in bite sizes that correspond to each country’s national curriculum; assessments for test prep; chat or video tutoring; at a low annual US $15 subscription, which compares to the cost of one hour of tuition.
Students participate in lessons, receive feedback, and participate in discussion boards via online and native apps. In July, the company acquired Pakistan’s Edmatrix, an e-learning platform. With this new acquisition Edmatrix, Abwaab can provide high-quality, affordable education to 50 million students in Pakistan, which is the 5th most populous country globally.
Series A Funding: Raised $20 million
The startup has successfully raised $20 million in its latest funding round. The Series A funding round was led by existing investor BECO Capital (UAE) and joined by:
- 4DX Ventures (US)
- GSV Ventures (US)
- Watar Partners (KSA), among others
Seed Round: Raised $5 million
In March 2021, the startup raised a $5 million seed round, which positioned Abwaab as one of the best-funded regional EdTech start-ups in the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan, a region with 160 million students.
The new investment will be used to fuel its expansion plans. In a statement, BECO Capital’s Abdulaziz Shikh Al Sagha said:
Abwaab is on a clear path to establishing themselves as market leaders within the region and we are proud to have had the chance to further deepen our partnership with Hamdi, Sabri, Hussein and the whole Abwaab team.