Baims Education Platform acquires Egyptian Orcas Edtech

Baims, a leading education technology (EdTech) company, announces a strategic move to acquire Orcas Edtech to capture the flourishing $100 billion education market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This transformative consolidation establishes Baims and Orcas as the go-to provider of a holistic and adaptive EdTech platform, catering to both K12 and university learning.Baims, founded by Yousef AlHusaini & Bader AlRasheed acquired Orcas, founded by Hossam Taher & Amira El Gharib in a 100% acquisition deal.Together, Orcas and Baims have raised over $11 million, backed by prominent investors including Access Bridge Ventures, Algebra Ventures, NFX Ventures, AlWazzan Educational Group, Rasameel Investment Company, Seedstars International Ventures, and AK Holding, establishing the new consolidated company as the number one EdTech player to watch in the MENA region.Regional Edtech DominanceAs education in the MENA region undergoes a transformation towards hybrid learning models, Baims and Orcas are dedicated to providing comprehensive education solutions that encompass both synchronous and asynchronous formats (live and recorded). This positions Baims as a dominant player with a distinctive offering, addressing the profound challenges that students encounter in the region."By acquiring Orcas Tutoring, we are not just expanding our reach; we are redefining the EdTech landscape in MENA," says Yousef AlHusaini, CEO of Baims. "This consolidation enables us to offer a comprehensive learning experience, combining our online tailored recorded courses with Orcas Tutoring's personalized one-to-one tutoring platform."Product and market expansionBaims specializes in providing online tailored recorded courses for university students in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Jordan. The acquisition of Orcas signifies a strategic move to further enhance their offerings by incorporating Orcas’ personalized tutoring services into their platform, creating a well-rounded and adaptable educational experience for students across the MENA region."Our aim is to establish product and market synergies by introducing personalized K12 tutoring services in the GCC and subsequently expanding our portfolio to cater to the diverse needs of university students." - Hossam Taher, CEO of Orcas Tutoring.Expansion in MENA with a focus on Saudi ArabiaWhile expanding in the GCC is Baims’ plan, focusing on the growing Saudi Arabian market is a priority. Recognizing Riyadh as the future startup hub of the region where the government is investing a significant amount in emerging talents, Baims aims to solidify its presence in this dynamic market. Saudi Arabia holds a strategic position, acting as a key connector between North Africa and the GCC, boasting the region's most substantial and influential market. Capitalizing on its dominant market share in Saudi Arabia, Baims is poised to launch a specialized AI-driven test preparation product. In addition to this, the company plans to augment its offerings by incorporating one-to-one tutoring services and expanding to more universities in KSA demonstrating a commitment to addressing the specific needs of students.A Stronger Team with solid Edtech experienceThe newly consolidated company aims to realize its product, market expansion, and regional dominance objectives through the efficient integration of both teams. This strategic acquisition presents Baims with the valuable opportunity to augment its workforce with seasoned professionals boasting over 35 years of combined experience in the EdTech space. Joining the Baims team alongside Hossam Taher as Chief Strategy Officer and Amira El Gharib as Chief Operations Officer are Shams Adly, Orcas’s Chief Marketing Officer, and Mohammed Khalaf, Orcas’s Chief Technology Officer. Their inclusion in Baims' leadership is set to drive further advancements in the venture.Shareholders upside & Edtech Sector potentialThe strategic acquisition has garnered support from investors who recognize the potential of the consolidated entity in transforming education in the MENA region. "We are thrilled by the immense potential within the Education sector in our region, evident in our initial investment in Orcas. As the regional landscape evolves, the strategic consolidation among visionary startups, guided by strong leaders, is poised to fortify the foundation for regional excellence and a more robust EdTech ecosystem. We look forward with great enthusiasm to the promising path that lies ahead." commented Issa Aghabi, Managing Partner at Access Bridge Ventures. “Today marks a monumental day for Edtech in the Middle East and the globe. The acquisition of Orcas by Baims proves once again that Edtech is fast growing in the region and further positions Baims as one of the premier companies in the entire ME region. With this strategic expansion, adding Orcas' outstanding one to one tutoring, Baims will offer more comprehensive educational tools for hundreds of thousands of students across Kuwait, Saudi, Jordan and now expanding to the large Egyptian market.” added Abdullateef AlThuwaini from AK Holding, a prominent investor in the EdTech sector. The creation of this new consolidated player is proof that the Edtech sector has yet a lot to offer. Unconquered Territory: MENA's $100 Billion Education MarketDespite the immense potential, MENA's $100 billion education market remains largely untapped. The magnitude of the education problem in the MENA region is profound, affecting students in various ways. "Education is not just about acquiring knowledge; it's about empowering individuals to thrive in the workforce," emphasizes Bader AlRasheed, Baims co-founder." Insufficient access to quality education limits opportunities in the job market, and our consolidated platform aims to bridge this gap by fostering skill development and preparing students for success."The Impact on the Employment MarketBaims also envisions contributing to job creation in the MENA region. "Our goal is not only to solve the education problem but also to create more job opportunities in KSA, Kuwait, EG, UAE, and Jordan," notes AlHusaini. "We aim to provide educators with a chance to make a meaningful impact and improve their incomes." Egyptian Founders Exit Revives Hope In a challenging environment with several devaluations over the last year, the Egyptian startup ecosystem has been grappling with multiple issues. However, with a persistent focus on identifying expansion opportunities, the Orcas exit led by CEO Hossam Taher emerged as a beacon of hope for the region.Hossam Taher & Amira El Gharib founded Orcas in 2019, addressing the private tutoring problem in Egypt by offering a personalized learning experience to K12 students in International Schools. Taher remarks, "Our journey with Orcas has been about empowering students and teachers, and with Baims, we see this impact expanding even further."Baims and Orcas invite the media, stakeholders, and the public to follow this exciting journey as it unfolds. The group company is eager to contribute to the transformation of education in the MENA region and believes that this consolidation is a significant step towards realizing that vision.

Magdi Moussa: Trailblazing edtech, fintech, and Forbes 30 under 30 triumph

Magdi Moussa and El Abiad founded their innovation studio, IMMRSV, in 2017, focusing on edtech and fintech. Today, the studio is at the forefront of various edtech initiatives, collaborating with well-known brands like Udacity, Meta, UNDP, the African Union, Misk Academy, ITIDA, and the Saudi Central Bank. This year, IMMRSV gained significant recognition by securing a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for the Middle East.In an exclusive interview with Adgully Middle East, Magdi Moussa, the CEO of IMMRSV and a brands builder, expressed his joy about being featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list alongside his friend and brother, El Abiad. During the interview, Moussa also provided insights into the future plans for IMMRSV and discussed the anticipated success of the studio. Excerpts:Congratulations on being listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 Middle East with IMMRSV. Did you anticipate being listed this year with your brother? How does it feel now?The recognition in Forbes 30 Under 30 Middle East was unexpected. My wife was behind the nomination, and the news came as a surprise. It feels good and provides confidence, but it also signals new challenges and a fresh journey ahead. Our next journey is to build a creative unicorn through Arab and African talents.Could you please share your professional journey with us?I am a #BrandBuilder, renowned for transforming the landscape of edtech initiatives in the region. Recently, I have garnered additional acclaim by securing a spot in Forbes 30 Under 30 at the age of 27.As a creative entrepreneur and marketing strategist, I specialise in brand innovation and crafting marketing strategies for global initiatives, with a primary focus on #edtech and #fintech in Africa.With over seven years of rich experience, I have played a pivotal role in developing and launching more than 50 brands. My expertise extends to spearheading marketing efforts for regional programmes supported by esteemed organisations such as the World Bank, UNDP, African Union, Meta, Udacity, Intel Nervana, Drosos Foundation, and others.My role as the Growth Marketing Manager at Udacity for Government in MEA showcased my ability to lead marketing initiatives and construct brands tailored to meet the unique requirements of government entities.Recognized as one of the most distinguished young entrepreneurs under 22 in Africa by the African Leadership Academy in 2017, my recent listing in Forbes 30 under 30 at the age of 27, further underscores my contributions to the industry.What inspired you to initiate IMMRSV, and what can you tell us about your venture?Certainly! I initiated IMMRSV to pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur, fueled by a passion for the creative industry, particularly in marketing and branding.IIMMRSV, a brand innovation studio specialising in edtech and fintech, has become a trailblazer in these sectors since its inception in 2017. The company, alongside my brother Mohamed-El-Abiad, has played a pivotal role in spearheading edtech initiatives for prominent brands, including Udacity, Meta, UNDP, the African Union, Misk Academy, ITIDA, and the Saudi Central Bank impacting around 40M people across the Middle East & Africa.You and Mohamed-El-Abiad started IMMRSV at a small scale. What was your aim, and has it been achieved?We launched IMMRSV in 2016. Initially, our goals were not entirely clear, but we aspired to become one of the largest marketing agencies in the region. While we have made significant progress without any capital or investments till now, our company continues to evolve, and there's still a long way to go.The Middle East has emerged as a startup hub in recent years. What are your views on this, and what attracts startups to the UAE?The Middle East's emergence as a startup hub is exciting, driven by factors such as a supportive ecosystem, access to capital, and a growing market. The UAE, in particular, attracts startups due to its strategic location, infrastructure, and government initiatives fostering innovation. And now, the KSA is booming massively achieving their 2023 vision to became one of the strongest business hub not only in the region but also in the world and all of these opportunities and investments fuels startups with many opportunities to scale, pivot and innovate to fit our local markets.Also, the economical challenges our region faces will affect the ecosystem as the strongest startups with agility to survive and grow massively.As a brand innovation studio, IMMRSV provides branding, marketing, and tech solutions for edtech and fintech companies. Which companies have benefited so far?Several companies have benefited from IMMRSV's services, including Udacity, the African Union, Meta, Intel, Total Energies, UNDP, Drosos Foundations, Dubai Future Foundation, and various government entities. Additionally, many medium and small-scale innovators have leveraged our expertise.After achieving 30 under 30, what is next in line? What are your future plans regarding IMMRSV?Our future vision to build a creative technolog unicorn in the regionPlease share your perspectives on the current state of AI, and could you also provide insights into your predictions for the future of AI?AI is a transformative force, driving innovation across various industries. Looking ahead, I anticipate further advancements in AI, shaping industries, improving efficiency, and contributing to societal progress. Our key opportunity to train ourselves in being AI powered studios and trying to build our own solutions using AI as well to help the human talents becoming more efficientHaving accomplished this at a young age, what other goals do you have on your bucket list, and what is your strategy for moving forward?Perhaps making it to the billionaires' list is on my bucket list. That is what everyone dreams of! However, moving forward, I plan to continue scaling IMMRSV, exploring new opportunities, and contributing to the evolution of the creative industry and scaling more in the region.

Hub71 welcomes 23 startups in its 13th cohort

Hub71, Abu Dhabi's global tech ecosystem, has welcomed 23 new startups as part of its latest cohort, having collectively raised over $53 million in funding. Following a rigorous selection process, the successful startups will enter Hub71’s new Company Building Program and benefit from up to AED 250,000 worth of in-kind incentives and AED 250,000 in cash for equity. High-performing startups from the latest cohort will also be eligible to receive a top-up of up to AED 250,000 in exchange for additional equity, after one year.Hub71 received a 107 per cent increase in applications from over 100 countries, reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s increasing global appeal as an innovative destination of growth for the world’s leading entrepreneurs. The new cohort comprises tech startups hailing from countries across the region, including the UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, as well as companies from the UK, Canada, India and Armenia, which will establish a presence in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, around 40% of the startups in the latest cohort are from the US. This reflects the growing interest from mature tech hubs in Abu Dhabi’s favorable innovation ecosystem. Operating in 11 diverse industries, the startups will support the advancement of sectors aligned with Abu Dhabi’s strategic economic priorities, including FinTech, ClimateTech, HealthTech and EdTech.Seven startups in the cohort will join Hub71+ Digital Assets, the specialist ecosystem focused on unleashing the growth potential of Web3 and digital assets. Startups in Hub71+ Digital Assets can tap into a network of 13 dedicated partners, including leading digital asset exchanges, global technology providers, venture capital funds, blockchain platforms and other commercial and investment opportunities required to scale. Startups joining Hub71+ Digital Assets include UK headquartered Avantgarde Finance which has raised $5.5 million in funding and provides a platform for digital asset investment managers to plug into, launch their strategies and grow at scale.With a growing focus on the potential of innovation and technology in supporting climate action in the UAE, Hub71 selected two ClimateTech startups that developed innovative technologies helping to shape a more sustainable future. Acquai, which has raised $1.5 million (AED 5.5 million), is a software and hardware service company delivering data from waterways using 3D printed, bio-inspired fishlike drones. Meanwhile, Carbonsifr is a UAE founded climate tech platform enabling businesses to take tangible climate action through their climate-tech solutions such as emissions calculation engine, AI-based reduction platform and checkout tool to engage consumers on their daily.Ahmad Ali Alwan, Deputy CEO of Hub71, said: "With each cohort, we are noticing increasing interest from high-growth startups worldwide seeking to establish their businesses and expand from Abu Dhabi. Tech entrepreneurs recognize the distinct advantages of setting up their companies in the UAE capital, which provides a favorable environment for developing and marketing innovative products and services that can transform the business world. By attracting startups with immense growth potential, Hub71 is building on its powerful community of visionary entrepreneurs who will pave the way for the future of innovation.”In addition to a customized three-month course to receive expert mentorship, tailored advice and critical support, startups joining Hub71 will also gain access to a broad network of corporate, government, investment, and talent partners operating within Abu Dhabi’s technology ecosystem, significantly heightening the prospects of securing commercial deals, investment and market growth opportunities.The 23 startups selected to join Hub71’s 13th cohort:AlGooru is an online service that connects students from various age groups with private on-demand tutors.Anecdote is a customer analytics platform that delves into each customer feedback ticket, drawing from various sources to deliver valuable insights that companies can use to make better product decisions.Aquaai is a software and hardware service company delivering data from waterways using 3D-printed, bio-inspired fishlike drones.Atiom is a behavioral tech platform and mobile solution for deskless teams, primarily focused on creating real business value for large enterprise organizations.Autobia is a B2B marketplace leveraging data to solve the infrastructure and after-sales challenges in the automotive industry.Avantgarde Finance provides digital asset investment managers a platform to plug into, launch their strategies, and grow at scale.BioSapien is a validated FDA drug delivery platform that can slow-release drugs over a specified period into tumors directly.Carbonsifr is a platform that neutralizes the carbon footprint across businesses and industries.ClearQuote Technologies utilizes computer vision to assess vehicle images automatically and identify and evaluate defects or damages.CrunchDAO leverages the power of Web 3.0 collective intelligence to create a next-generation financial insights provider.Digital First AI offers a solution to the marketing industry by providing an all-in-one AI integration.Droplinked by FlatLay is a Web 3 commerce enabler for consumers and enterprises, bridging the gap between Web 2 and Web 3 capabilities with no-code, headless solutions.FlapKap is a user-friendly tech funding platform that integrates with e-commerce, social media and advertising platforms, marketplaces, payment gateways, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERPs). Goodable uses AI to deliver mental health programming to any screen or device. Its platform is clinically proven to improve employee mood, health and productivity by up to 96%.Lemonade Fashion is a video-first fashion and beauty platform. The social platform lets users shop directly from the video and check out from the same integrated system.Momint enables accessible funding and trade of solar photovoltaic1 (PV) investments with a built-in digital wallet, specializing in putting real assets and legal contracts on the blockchain.Netki is an identity validation provider with deep expertise in high-scale and high-fraud environments.Overnight Finance is an asset management protocol offering passive yield products based on delta-neutral strategies, primarily for conservative stablecoin investors.Param Labs is a game and blockchain development studio that delivers the highest quality blockchain-integrated games to the masses through player-owned digital assets.PriceOye Technologies is a managed marketplace for consumer electronics at the best prices with a built-in price comparison engine.Retailhub is a platform for direct integrations between retailers and aggregators.Sustainable Planet is an AgriTech company utilizing sustainable technology to combat food insecurity and climate change.Syd is a SaaS platform in predictive/preventative health tech that focuses on improving the life quality of employees as a success strategy from a business to an individual employee perspective.

FuelBuddy appoints one source for UAE expansion's marketing &cCreative

FuelBuddy, India's first and largest doorstep fuel delivery startup, has partnered with integrated marketing business impact consultancy, One Source, for their UAE launch and expansion. The partnership will include digital marketing, content marketing, performing marketing, and creative duties for FuelBuddy’s UAE business. Earlier this year, FuelBuddy partnered with One Source for integrated marketing communication for the India market. Along with marketing in India, One Source will now be responsible for developing and executing digital marketing strategies that align with objectives in the UAE. Founded in 2016 by Gautam Malhotra, Adnan Kidwai, and Divij Talwar, FuelBuddy has emerged as a pioneer in the energy distribution industry, offering innovative IoT and Cloud-enabled solutions for fuel storage and dispensing. Through its products such as Smart Tank, Diesel on Tap, FuelBuddy Vault, and BuddyCan, the brand is committed to digitising and democratising energy distribution across the globe, starting with India and the UAE.The partnership will be led for One Source by Senior Consultant, Akanksha Srivastava, supported by the national team, at One Source.Opining on the partnership Divij Talwar, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, FuelBuddy said, “With the fuel mobility market emerging at the pace that it is, we’ve already pioneered the market in India. With our global expansion plans, we were looking at partners who would help create business impact for us in a new market. The kind of experience we’ve had with One Source in India makes us believe they’re just the right partner for us towards achieving business goals via marketing.” Srishty Chawla, Co-founder, One Source added, “Winning this remit is a testament to the kind of business impact work we do with our partners in India. One Source has grown its integrated marketing remits by 100% YoY, and now, we are expanding our presence across key growth regions such as the UAE. We are excited to work with FuelBuddy in the next phase of mutual growth and we will continue delivering exceptional business impact work to our partners.”One Source has offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru which service Indian and global market leaders across start-ups, BFSI, fintech, edtech, construction, e-commerce, fast fashion, manufacturing, packaging, business consulting, ICT, foodtech and more. Over the last five years, the consultancy has seen consistent 100+% growth across partners and people, beating average industry appraisals along the way at 27% YoY.