Riyadh, Saudi-based edtech startup Noon Academy has raised $8.6 million in series A funding round led by Raed ventures, STV, institutional investor Alisamiah Investment and other private investors including Careem’s co-founder Abdulla Elyas, Dr. Abdulrahman Aljadhai – CEO of Elm, Mazen Aljunai and Saudi Venture Capital (SVC).
The company will deploy this newly-raised capital to build engineering and product team, double down its growth in the existing markets and crack into new markets in MENA regions.
About Noon Academy
Noon Academy was founded in 2013 by Mohammed Aldhalaan and Dr. Abdulaziz AlSaeed, as a simple test prep website to help students prepare for exams – at the same time creating opportunities for private tutors. After 6 years of its genesis, Noon has now become a full-fledged social eLearning platform that enables students to request top tutors, study in groups and also compete with one another.
At present, Noon is a team of 90 people incorporating people from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and India. Out of which 50 part-time employees directly contribute towards the development of content on the app. Noon has also found its place in the World Economic Forums’ 100 most promising Arab Startups in 2019.
Till date, the app has generated over 2 million students and 1,500 certified tutors. On average, an active student spends almost 55 minutes on the app per day which close to 4 times more than any other eLearning app.
How does the platform work?
The Noon app exhibits stacks of educational content that is accessible free of cost to every user and only charge for on-demand tutors, plus the advanced study material. The platform helps students prepare for Saudi General Aptitude and achievement tests. The Saudi National center of Assessment (Qiyas) accreditation is the principal advantage of Noon over its competitors.
Statements enclosing the funding round
“The biggest issue in studying isn’t comprehension; rather, it’s boredom, and that’s where Noon Academy’s unique social learning platform achieves what others can’t. Noon is transforming into an open platform, where teachers around the world can start their own educational groups, allowing exceptional teachers to organically cultivate their own following and generate additional income through excellent performance and positive reviews. This approach not only dramatically improves student motivation, but also allows exceptional teachers to teach thousands of students in one group, making high-quality education accessible and affordable to the masses.”
– Mohammed Aldhalaan – Co-Founder & CEO, Noon Academy
“We see incredible promise in this industry, and in Noon Academy in particular, and look forward to seeing how Mohammed and Abdulaziz will continue to build this exciting company. Many platforms are working on accessibility of education, but Noon has a unique focus on students’ motivation, which tackles the real problem students face today.”
– Omar Almajdouie – Co-founder, Raed Ventures
“With around 6 million students in Saudi Arabia alone, and far more across the wider region, providing better access to education and study opportunities has never been more important. We’re very excited about this sector and the vision of Mohammed and Abdulaziz in creating Noon academy, which combines technology with great teachers to make studying easier and more efficient for millions of students across the Middle East.”
– Abdulrahman Tarabzouni – CEO, STV
Let’s talk data and numbers
According to Metaari, the global edtech industry reached $16.3 billion in 2018. Out of which, 76 percent was shared by US and China alone.
And this latest funding of Noon marks the biggest capital investment in the edtech industry in the whole MENA region till date. Keeping this big chunk of investment of Noon, this comes out to be pretty big an achievement for the MENA startup ecosystem!
EdTechXGlobal predicts, the edtech sector will hit a whopping $253 billion by 2020. While MENA’s progress so far is inclined with its potential to grab a big share in the sector after US and China by 2020 and further.