The on-demand turoring platform has ambitions beyond Saudi borders, as it looks to expand its community-based model.
With a number of exits and acquisitions showing its rapid maturity, the edtech sector in the Middle East has been defined most by its increasing hyper-localisation and its move towards community-based models.
A deal in Saudi Arabia has gone some way to show both these points, the acquisition of Jeddah’s ChillLearn, by on-demand tutoring platform, AlGooru.
Founded in 2019 by Khalid Abou Kassem, AlGooru matches students and tutors, while seeking to create a community to benefit from shared experiences. Amongst its modest, yet nonetheless significant, milestones are the close of a $600K seed round led by Nawa International, Oqal Angel Network and Techstars in November 2021, which came off the back of acceptance into the Techstars Riyadh seed accelerator.
Founded in 2019, ChillLearn have their own achievements to boast about, including winning the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Communications and Information Technology's TechChampions Accelerator. As a tutoring platform, it currently claims to serve around 5,000 students, who will now be consolidated into AlGooru’s community - one that offers 450 vetted private tutors, covering more than 210 academic and non-academic subjects.
The MENA edtech sector experienced a 104% ToY growth in capital investment, falling just short of the $60 million mark. Highlight deals included Snykers’ acquisition of Lebanese edtech, Ostaz, and Abwaab of Jordan’s acquisition of Edmatrix. While some will argue that these numbers pale in comparison to that of other sectors, the pandemic’s acceleration of edtech solutions has almost transcended impositions of remote learning, with these innovations now being seen not as solutions, but evolutions. A hyper-localised community network is an interesting proposition within the remote-functioning that the zeitgeist around edtech has highlighted. Maybe edtech is actually best used to create local communities, rather than look to bridge global ones.