TechInAfrica – Cairo-based ed-tech marketplace, Orcas, has raised $500,000 in a pre-Series A funding round led by Algebra Ventures with participation from NFX Capital. Orcas is a mobile marketplace connecting parents and students with tutors and babysitters through its platform.
Orcas was founded in 2014, providing a platform that connects thousands of students of all educational level and systems with verified, user-rated, and specialized tutors. Over 20,000 students using the app, with Orcas’s operations in Cairo, Alexandria, El Gouna, and the North Coast.
The startup was managed by Hossam Taher (CEO and a medical doctor) and Amira El Gharib. Taher started Orcas when he was still a student. Taher said, a medical doctor by training and started Orcas when he was a student himself.
Taher said, “We saw that there were very few flexible work opportunities for university students, but that there was a huge need for qualified and trusted tutors. We solved this problem by creating a platform for them to connect – creating jobs for young people as educators while simultaneously providing school-age students with the best tutors for them.”
Commented on Algebra’s investment in Orcas, Algebra’s spokesperson said: “Orcas complements strained traditional educational institutions by connecting students with specialized tutors who enable individualized learning. The one-size-fits-all model is leaving many young people behind, and the market is ripe for technological disruption.”
Ahmed Elkalla, Managing Partner at NFX Capital stated: “Orcas and other tech-enabled tutoring platforms are delivering today on what academic research promised more than 20 years ago. Students who are tutored one-to-one perform significantly better than students who learn via conventional instructional methods. This used to be a luxury very few people could afford but now through tech-enabled platforms like Orcas a much wider group of students can reap the personalized tutoring benefits.”