Almentor, an e-learning video marketplace with operations in Dubai and Cairo has secured a USD 4.5 Mn series A funding deal led by MENA-focused investor, Sawari Ventures.
Egypt Ventures, Endure Capital and angel investor Mohamed El Amin participated in this round.
“We are very pleased to have led this latest round. From the beginning, we have supported Almentor’s mission to expand the personal development options available to young Arabic-speaking professionals in the MENA region,” commented Wael Amin, Partner at Sawari Ventures.
“Filling this gap in the area of knowledge development and laying the foundation for a rich online learning ecosystem is crucial to the development of the next generation of empowered leaders. We are impressed with what the team has achieved in the last two years and are excited to be part of its future journey.”
Apart from accelerating course development, Almentor will drive the funding into expanding its roster of mentors.
The startup claims that its mentors are taken through a competitive selection criteria to ensure content of utmost quality is offered.
Almentor was founded in 2016 by Ihab Fikry, Ibrahim Kamel, Abdelrhman Fahmy, Hesham Heikal and Husni Khuffash. The startup came up to fill the skill gap that Arab youth had, due to a lack of quality mentoring resources in their language. It now offers training courses, informative talks and personal development courses in Arabic and English via its online platform.
The video content is customized to the region’s need and comes with subtitling, video transcripts and closed captions. Users have a variety of courses to choose from, ranging from entrepreneurship, health, technology, humanities to business management, among others.
To date, Almentor has served users from around 56 countries globally, with over 10 000 videos available on its platform.
Speaking on the funding raised, Ihab Fikry CEO and co-founder said, “Already we have more than 10,000 videos online and we hope to use this investment to further avail our audience to even more enriching learning experiences, in the process helping young people enhance their personal development and confidence, while increasing their knowledge base.”
Room for Opportunity
The online education and e-learning market in the Middle East was valued at USD 558 Mn in 2016 and is expected to register 9.8% growth over the forecasted period.
Internet penetration and a booming population in Egypt and the wider MENA region could be potential enablers for startups such as Almentor. Ihab Fikry cited conducive environment for startups in Dubai and the Arab world, in the form of stability and government support.
“We see lots of opportunities in other areas. For example, we are offering a course on safe driving for women in Saudi Arabia. Each and every positive change in the Middle East will require learning, by default, and we are ready to offer it,” said Ihab.
Almentor has plans to digitize quality teaching work for the Arab world.
It will also be curating courses based on their projections of industries that will see growth. Ihab believes that the energy, big data analysis, education and AI are some sectors that will see this growth.
Feature photo courtesy: Almentor