Taha Ahmed and Roshan Aziz left their jobs in strategy consulting and investment banking in London earlier this year to found a mobile-only education platform startup, Maqsad, in Pakistan, with a goal “to make education more accessible to 100 million Pakistani students.”
Having grown up in Karachi, childhood friends Ahmed and Aziz are aware of the challenges of the Pakistani education system, which is notably worse for those not living in large urban areas (the nation’s student-teacher ratio is 44:1). Pakistani children are less likely to go to school for each kilometer of the distance between school and their home — with girls being four times affected, Maqsad co-founder Aziz said. Maqsad announced its $2.1 million pre-seed round to enhance its content platform growth and invest in R&D.
The pre-seed round was completed in just three weeks via virtual meetings. Indus Valley Capital, Alter Global, Fatima Gobi Ventures, and several angel investors from Pakistan, the Middle East, and Europe. Maqsad will use the proceeds for developing in-house content, such as production studio, academics, and animators, as well as bolstering R&D and engineering, Aziz told TechCrunch. Aziz said that the company will focus on K-12 education in Pakistan, including 11th and 12th-grade math, with plans to expand into other STEM subjects for the next one-two years.
Massad’s platform, which provides a one-stop-shop for after-school academic content in a mix of English and Urdu, will be supplemented by quizzes and other gamified features that will come together to offer a personalized education to individuals. Aziz explained that its platform features include adaptive testing that alters a question’s level of difficulty depending on users’ responses.