Maqsad, an ed-tech company based in Karachi, has raised $2.1 million in a pre-seed round led by Indus Valley Capital. Alter Global, Fatima Gobi Ventures, and founders of various startups in the Middle East and Pakistan also participated in the round.
Maqsad (which means purpose in Urdu) was founded earlier this year by childhood friends Taha Ahmed and Rooshan Aziz. The company is developing a mobile-only platform to provide after-school academic support to Pakistan’s “100 million” students (across K-12 including grades 9-12 of local educational boards).
The team has already conducted two small pilots and plans to launch the platform later this year. It will feature bilingual content in English and Urdu and will allow students to learn at their own pace through video-based content before testing their knowledge via quizzes and other tools included in the app. The app’s entire content will be created in-house.
Roooshan, who previously worked in London for BNP Paribas, stated, “We believe that everyone has a purpose.” Maqsad’s mission is to enable Pakistani students to accomplish this goal; regardless of whether you are from an urban centre like Lahore or a remote village in Sindh, Maqsad believes in equal opportunity for all.”
Additionally, he stated that the struggles of students in the early days of the pandemic motivated us to conduct a pilot, “With promising initial traction and user feedback, the potential to digitize education became very clear.”
Taha stated, “It’s about more than just getting students to pass their exams.” We want to bring about a paradigm shift in the way Pakistani students learn, moving away from rote memorization and toward true comprehension.” He previously worked at LEK as a strategy consultant.
Aatif Awan, founder and managing partner of Indus Valley Capital, stated, “Since Indus Valley’s inception, we’ve been looking to invest in a startup that’s transforming education in Pakistan.” The founders of Maqsad quickly convinced us that this was the team to partner with due to their in-depth understanding of the problem, unique approach to solving it, and passion for impact. We are overjoyed to be able to assist Maqsad in becoming a platform for Pakistan’s youth to realize their potential.”
Ali Mukhtar, General Partner of Fatima Gobi Ventures, stated, “Pakistan’s education technology opportunity is one of the largest in the world, and we are excited to support Maqsad in delivering tech-powered education that equalizes access, quality, and cost for Pakistan’s youth and fosters lasting social change.”