Dubai- and Beirut-based edtech firm Geek Express has raised USD 520,000 in a pre-Series A round, the company said on Monday. The investment came from Saudi Arabia’s National Talents, Lebanon’s IM Capital, DHV Partners, and an angel investor. The round takes Geek Express’ total raise to USD 860,000, it said in a statement, adding that it had previously raised funds in an angel round in early 2019.
Founded in 2017 in Lebanon by Manal Hakim and Rayan Najdi, Geek Express provides STEAM education in different forms to children in the Middle East and North Africa. It offers learning experiences that include online and offline camps in Beirut and Dubai for users aged five to 17, live online courses, and a DIY educational kit that comes with video lessons.
It also has mobile apps for iOS and Android that enable parents to enroll their children in courses and order the DIY kit. For the children, the app offers a gamified experience to learn STEAM skills, enabling them to earn badges and points, as well as track their progress.
The startup said that it has over 1,800 active students across the Middle East and North Africa who receive instruction from over 200 teachers on the platform. The teachers are supported by Geek Express’ team of community managers and developers.
“Students at Geek Express have the option of learning how to code, design, build, and create tangible projects that translate into reality. This is how students are able to process the concepts and further develop their cognitive skills,” the edtech company said in a statement.
Manal Hakim, the co-founder and CEO of Geek Express, said that the investment from National Talents, which is a STEM education provider in Saudi Arabia, will help them expand to the kingdom. She also highlighted the fact that they have a 60/40 female-to-male ratio in their team and students.
Rayan Najdi, the co-founder and COO of Geek Express, said, “We’ve achieved great success in creating a hybrid learning model, teaching relevant skills to today’s youth. We believe Geek Express sets the foundation of a futuristic school whereby thousands of MENA students will have access to STEAM skills from the comfort of their homes.”
Geek Express said that it will use the investment to accelerate the development of its platform and secure content partnerships.
This article first appeared in MENAbytes.