An Edtect startup Manara which focuses on growing the tech talent pool in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region via its cohort-based training platform has reportedly raised $3 million in pre-seed funding, a source familiar with the matter has confirmed.
The subject startup is one that fashioned itself as a social impact edtech firm offering training in computer science to anyone that qualifies for the program. However, Manara’s students are not expected to pay any tuition fees but are required to commit 10% of their earnings in their first two years of employment to Manara.
Founded last year by ‘Iliana Montauk’ (CEO) and ‘Laila Abudahi’ (CTO), who made clear that its alumni have so far been deployed to a host of big tech companies like Google and Meta across Europe and the United States.
In view of this development, Abudahi said: “I grew up in Palestine and realized quickly that to become a world-class engineer I needed to work on highly-scaled products with experienced teams. After I reached my dream through lots of trial and error, I wanted to make it easier for people back home to do the same. Ultimately, these engineers will become the CTOs and senior developers that the region needs in order to accelerate the growing success of its own tech ecosystem”.
According to startup Manara, it also added that 86% of its trained engineers receive job offers within five months of graduating, while others get up to a 300% pay increment after the training.
The subject startup intends to deploy the fresh fund to scale from training 60 to 6,000 engineers per year. As the firm double down on this trajectory, the team is also looking to launch a self-service product for interview practice, networking, and mentorship, targeting software engineers from across the globe.
Meanwhile, the pre-seed round was backed by Stripe which also witnessed participation from LinkedIn founder, ‘Reid Hoffman’, ‘Paul Graham’, founder of Y Combinator, Eric Ries, founder of Lean Startup, founder, and CEO of Careem ‘Mudassir Sheikha’.
“Europe’s tech sector is growing quickly. There’s a massive need for new solutions to access talent, whether remote or onsite. The Middle East and North Africa is an obvious fit because of proximity and time zones. We’re very excited to back the first startup bridging these two markets – and are particularly excited about the founders’ commitment to women engineers”, the managing partner of Seedcamp ‘Carlos Espinal’ said.
When ask about high caliber of investors that the startup has attracted, Montauk said: “We received more appetite from investors than we could accommodate, signaling an increasing interest from Silicon Valley in platforms that facilitate online and offline communities, and solutions to access highly-skilled talent from emerging markets”.
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