Maqsad is a Pakistani Ed-tech startup that announced a $2.8 million seed round led by Speedinvest and returning investor Indus Valley Capital. Maqsad’s founders said in a statement on Thursday that the oversubscribed round also had participation from Stellar Capital, Alter Global, Johann Jenson (SVP Product at GoStudent), and other strategic angels.
Founded in 2021 by Rooshan Aziz and Taha Ahmed, Maqsad aims to make education accessible for 100 million Pakistani students via an end-to-end learning mobile platform that
provides teaching, testing, and query resolution for grades nine to 12.
The capital from this funding round, which brings Maqsad’s all-time capital raised to $4.9 million and positions the company as Pakistan’s best-funded edtech, will be used primarily to expand the subject offering and supercharge the tech behind the platform
While currently a purely business-to-consumer (B2C) platform, Maqsad’s long-term vision is to embed itself across the education ecosystem. The company has already received interest from private and public sector institutions for potential partnerships. Maqsad Founder Taha Ahmed said:
“Maqsad offers an exceptional learning experience for students at a fraction of the cost,
“Our focus on student problems is at the core of our mission, and we’ve collected feedback from over 20,000 students and teachers across Pakistan to ensure learning outcomes are being achieved,”
Co-Founder Roshan Aziz said the firm recently enhanced its assessment feature, which allows students to confidently self-evaluate, and witnessed consistent over 150 percent month-on-month growth in questions attempted.
“We’re laser-focused on delivering a personalized learning experience at scale and have a number of exciting artificial intelligence (AI)-based initiatives in the pipeline,”
In the last six months, the Maqsad app has been downloaded over a million times, answered four million student queries,
and has consistently ranked as the number one education app in Pakistan on the Google Play Store.
According to the statement, education presents a substantial opportunity in Pakistan, with a forecasted annual spend of $37 billion by 2032.
A quarter of this goes towards after-school academic support that is often expensive and difficult to access.
Pakistan also has one of the highest student-teacher ratios in the world, with only one teacher for every 44 students.
Maqsad’s query-solving technology (DoubtSolve) and interactive testing resolve a key problem for students who lack ready access to quality instructors. Philip Specht, partner at Speedinvest said:
“We invested in Maqsad because we see the potential for it to touch the lives of millions of students and disrupt the education ecosystem, We are incredibly impressed by Rooshan and Taha as team builders and believe Maqsad is on track to be one of the most successful businesses in Pakistan,”
Speedinvest is a venture capital fund with more than €1 billion ($1.06 billion) to invest in pre-seed, seed, and early-stage tech startups globally.
The firm is one of Europe’s largest seed funds and already has an edtech unicorn Vienna-based GoStudent in its portfolio. Indus Valley Capital’s Founder Aatif Awan said:
“We first invested in Maqsad 18 months ago, before they had a product or a team. We were compelled by the vision Rooshan and Taha had for education in Pakistan. Investing again in Maqsad is a no-brainer as we have seen them bring together one of the best startup teams in Pakistan to build a category-leading product that has helped over a million students,”
Indus Valley Capital is a Pakistan-focused early-stage VC fund with deep roots in Silicon Valley. Indus Valley has been the first VC to invest in top Pakistani startups including Bazaar and Bridgelinx.