Educational technology, known as edtech, is a rapidly growing industry worldwide, and Saudi edtech startups are at the forefront of this change.
Saudi edtech startups have been attracting significant investment and global recognition. In fact, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) praised the Kingdom for adopting and implementing its online training programs during the universal pandemic. As a result, it has elevated its status within the global teaching community.
According to the latest market research data, global e-learning market revenue stood at about $15 bn in 2021. Furthermore, the market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5 percent from 2021 to 2028.
Significantly, one of the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 is to enhance the sustainability of education by developing comprehensive frameworks for flexible learning. This vision is being realized by Saudi edtech startups.
Leading Saudi edtech startups
Among these promising Saudi edtech startups is Noon (previously Noon Academy). With over 10 mn students across eight countries, Noon has already made its mark and aims to impact 50 mn students more by 2023.
Founded by Mohammed Al-Dhalaan and Aziz Al-Saeed, it is a student-centric social learning platform that offers free live and interactive tutoring with “gamified” features. Established in 2013, it integrates social and “gamification” elements to make learning more enticing and collaborative for students.
Noon secured $13 mn in a pre-series B funding round led by STV in 2020. Recently, it closed a $41 mn series B funding round co-led by Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures and RAED Ventures.
Amid the cluster of Saudi edtech startups, Aanaab emerges as a distinctive entity. Established in 2016 by Mounira Jamjoom and Naila Al-Khalawi, this edtech startup focuses on the empowerment and development of Arab teachers.
In particular, Aanaab enables educators to secure internationally acclaimed Cambridge credentials, promoting both their personal and professional growth. This initiative not only elevates their teaching prowess but also introduces them to a global job market.
Aanaab’s practical yet pioneering approach is a standout among the Saudi edtech startups. The uniqueness of its mission has caught the eye of prominent investors, such as Nour Nouf and Wamda Capital, leading Aanaab to secure a significant $1.5 mn in funding.
Meanwhile, Nokhbah Academy is a fresh player founded in 2022. Addressing issues with current educational platforms, it zeroes in on improving aspects of student-tutor interaction, user engagement, and completion rates while tackling technical problems.
Standing out among Saudi edtech startups, Nokhbah Academy offers an innovative solution rich in features that personalize the learning process. The focus extends beyond content delivery to improving user experience and engagement and sets a different course from conventional approaches. The startup is likewise developing a customizable tool to integrate with existing learning platforms and learning management systems.
Even as a newcomer, Nokhbah Academy displays a promising future through its innovation and commitment. As the startup advances, it embodies the hallmarks of successful Saudi edtech startups: creativity, adaptability, and a relentless desire to enhance education.
AlGooru is making its mark as a smart learning platform in Saudi Arabia. Established in August 2021 by Khalid Abou Kassem, AlGooru is revolutionizing student-teacher connections in Saudi Arabia. With an initial seed funding of $1.8 mn, AlGooru is already pacing towards expansion in the education sector.
Further, AlGooru provides an online service linking students of varied ages with one-on-one private tutors, covering over 200 subjects. Utilizing a unique business model, it offers monthly tutoring subscriptions and generates revenue by taking a commission from tutors’ earnings. With session prices ranging from $20 to $32 per month, AlGooru efficiently blends education innovation with business acumen.
Conclusively, AlGooru marks its presence among Saudi edtech startups with its significant funding, an innovative platform, and a dynamic business model.
Another remarkable Saudi edtech startup is Lamsa. Also branded as Lamsa Kids’ World, this platform churns out an assortment of interactive stories, games, and engaging learning experiences.
Launched in 2012, Lamsa has a distinct target demographic of children aged 2 to 8. It serves its young audience a creative mix of songs, games, videos, and rhymes in Arabic, making the platform a fun-filled avenue for gaining a basic understanding of the language.
Lamsa’s subscription model is as thoughtful as it is unique among Saudi edtech startups. Featuring both a web and a mobile-based application, it has managed to raise a substantial $500,000 in funding over three rounds. This feat is led by GINCO Investments, a Dubai-based firm, lending credence to Lamsa’s innovative strides in the edtech sector.
Hence, with its child-centered approach, engaging content, and significant funding, Lamsa exemplifies the dynamic spirit of Saudi edtech startups.
These companies exemplify the vision of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of education. Amid a rapidly expanding global e-learning market, these Saudi edtech startups are placing the country at the forefront of education technology innovation.
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