TECHNOLOGY

Edkasa, Pakistan’s First TikTok e-Learning Startup, Raises $320,000 in Pre-Seed Capital

Edkasa, Pakistan’s First TikTok e-Learning Startup, Raises $320,000 in Pre-Seed Capital

Edkasa, Pakistan's First TikTok e-Learning Startup, Raises $320,000 in Pre-Seed Capital

Edkasa, Pakistan’s First TikTok e-Learning Startup, Raises $320,000 in Pre-Seed Capital

TikTok has teamed with Pakistan’s first Edtech start-up, Edkasa, and LUMS to establish a digital learning programme for high school students to support online education and distant learning. The “ExamReady” programme, powered by TikTok, will encourage digital learning for the benefit of millions of Pakistani pupils.

Fahad Tanveer and Annum Sadiq, a husband and wife team, founded Edkasa after realising that Pakistan’s outmoded education system had little to offer Pakistani young. They require an updated and modernised educational institution, which no one in Pakistan provides. During an interview, Annum stated:

“We understand that parents, teachers, schools, and society at large invest a lot of resources, time, and effort in high-school children.” We want to see kids achieve excellent grades, continue their studies, and contribute to our country’s knowledge-based economy.”

TikTok, Edkasa, and LUMS will work for a year to bring to life over 500 instructional movies online covering Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics, as well as study advice and test hacks. The Syed Ahsan Ali and Syed Maratib Ali School of Education at LUMS will give advice on teaching approaches as well as project monitoring and assessment, while Edkasa, the implementing partner, will create all material and host it on TikTok and other social media platforms. The first round of the program’s

Farah Tukan, TikTok’s Head of Government Relations & Public Policy for the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Pakistan (METAP), stated:

“This collaboration with LUMS and Edkasa ensures that everyone has digital access to high-quality education.” We look forward to collaborating on the statewide promotion of literacy and allowing Pakistani students to use our platform to improve their knowledge and abilities in order to put themselves up for successful professional life.”

Edkasa, a Lahore-based edtech company, announced today that it has secured $320,000 in pre-seed investment sponsored by i2i Ventures. The round was concluded a few months ago but only recently publicised. Walled City Co, Zayn Capital, and’strategic angel investors’ from Southeast Asia are also involved. Edkasa has also announced the release of their test preparation software for high school (matric and intermediate) students, which is now available on the Google Play Store.

The programme has almost 4,500 video clips covering all themes in Physics, Chemistry, Math, Biology, and English Grammar. The videos show ‘highly competent teachers’ discussing various ideas from these areas (mainly in Urdu). Each movie includes a multiple-choice exam for students to complete.

Edkasa intends to introduce leaderboards that will identify the best achievers in several subjects in order to make the experience more gamified. The app has over 15,000 questions generated by Edkasa’s instructors utilising prior papers.

A large portion of the videos and quizzes available on the app are free, but for full access, students have two options: an Exam Pack, which allows students to access all subjects available on the app for PKR 3,599 per month, and a Single Subject package, which allows students to access everything from one specific subject for PKR 899 per month.

Edkasa was founded in 2017 by the two, who also experimented with YouTube and launched their own channel. Edkasa’s CEO, Fahad, stated:

“We established targets for what success would look like and when we would be confident enough to pursue our aim of assisting millions of high school kids in preparing for and performing well on their exams,”

The Android software assists high school students (Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12) in preparing for their standardised Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) tests. It covers all twenty of the country’s test boards. As a result, Edkasa is effectively providing a digital alternative to the private tuition that students often rely on to perform well in these tests.

We got the opportunity to test the app before to its release, and it’s really nicely constructed (and easy to use). Students must choose their grade, test style, group, and board. They are then given a brief exam to enable Edkasa measure their learning level and optimise the video feed for them (it doesn’t appear that the feed is adjusted on the basis of videos at the moment, so it is presumably work-in-progress). After completing the quiz, students can begin watching the video lessons.

“We’ve known Annum and Fahad since Edkasa was a part of the i2i Accelerator, and they are great people,” said Kalsoom Lakhani, co-founder and General Partner of i2i Ventures.

“We are optimistic about the edtech opportunities in Pakistan, particularly in the test prep area, as evidenced by the pandemic’s influence on transferring students to online learning and reinforced by the success of edtech in nearby countries like India and Indonesia,” she added.

Pakistan’s edtech sector is rapidly evolving. Edkasa is one of several local and regional competitors attempting to attract millions of Pakistani students to their platform. When asked what distinguishes them, Fahad answered;

“Our students are interested in our work and continue to return to us because we believe in constructing with them rather than for them.” As educators, we believe in encouraging kids to learn and not be frightened of making errors by utilising a growth mindset. For example, while providing grade feedback, we ensure that students are motivated and that the learning experience is humanised, because education is a relationship.”

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