Pakistan-based edtech Maqsad has raised $2.8 million in a seed funding round led by Europe-based Speedinvest and returning investor Indus Valley Capital, a Pakistan-focused early stage VC fund.
New York-based VC firm Stellar Capital, early-stage investor Alter Global, Johann Jenson (SVP Product at GoStudent), and other strategic angel investors also participated in the funding round, as per a release.
“We invested in Maqsad because we see potential for it to touch the lives of millions of students and disrupt the education ecosystem. We believe Maqsad is on track to be one of the most successful businesses in Pakistan,” said Philip Specht, partner at Speedinvest.
Maqsad has raised $4.9 million in total funding to date and is the top-funded edtech startup in Pakistan. Among its peers, Edkasa has raised $320,000 in a pre-seed round, while Nearpeer has raised $230,000.
The company plans to use the new capital to expand the subject offering and “supercharge” the tech behind the platform. Maqsad aims to make education accessible for 100 million Pakistani students via an end-to-end learning mobile platform that provides teaching, testing, and query resolution for grades 9 to 12, the release said.
While currently a purely B2C platform, Maqsad’s long-term vision is to embed itself across the education ecosystem. The company has already received interest from private and public sector institutions for potential partnerships.
In the last six months, the Maqsad app has been downloaded over a million times, answered 4 million student queries, and has consistently ranked as the #1 education app in Pakistan on the Google Play Store, according to the release.
DealStreetAsia earlier reported that Pakistani edtech is an underfunded sector, with investors often baulking at the idea of backing these firms given the formidable hurdles they face — inability to monetise at scale, lack of general acceptance of digital learning, and the low consumer propensity to spend, among other things.
In 2022, edtech startups in the country raised $2 million in funding, down 27% from the previous year, show data from Data Darbar based on disclosed fundraising rounds in the country. In comparison, edtech startups in India raised over $2 billion in Jan-Sept 2022, according to DealStreetAsia DATA VANTAGE‘s India Deal Review: Q3 2022 report.