Maqsad, an edtech platform for academic content, has raised a seed round of $2.8 million at an undisclosed valuation, co-founder Rooshan Aziz told Dawn in an interview on Wednesday.

The latest funding takes the startup’s all-time capital raised to $4.9m as it conducted a pre-seed round of $2.1m a year-and-a-half ago.

A company statement said the round was led by Speedinvest and returning investor Indus Valley Capital. Other participants included Stellar Capital, Alter Global, Johann Jenson (SVP Product at GoStudent) and other strategic angels.

Incoming investor Speedinvest is one of Europe’s largest seed funds and already has an edtech unicorn in its portfolio, Vienna-based GoStudent.

Founded in 2021 by Aziz and Taha Ahmed, Maqsad aims to make education accessible for 100m Pakistani students via an end-to-end learning mobile platform that provides teaching, testing and query resolution for grades 9 to 12.

In the last six months, the Maqsad app has been downloaded over a million times, answered 4m student queries and has consistently ranked as the top education app in Pakistan on the Google Play Store, the company claimed.

Pakistan has one of the highest student-teacher ratios in the world, with only one teacher for every 44 students.

The expected annual education spend is $37 billion by 2032, Aziz said, adding that a quarter of this goes towards after-school academic support that is often expensive and difficult to access — a problem that Maqsad is trying to solve.

“We teach math, physics, chemistry and biology. We’re also starting English lectures soon,” he said, adding that the app covers the syllabuses of Sindh, Punjab and federal text book boards.

Even though the app is free to a large extent, the two co-founders are in the process of rolling out premium, fee-based services.

As for the fee structure, Aziz said the app is offering a number of packages.

“On average, a student can have full access to the whole range of subjects at a monthly fee of around Rs500-600,” he said.

Around 90 of the 160 people that the startup employs are teachers.

“We’re expecting to hit breakeven within two years,” Aziz said.

The app’s query-solving technology called DoubtSolve and interactive testing help solve a key problem for students who lack ready access to quality instructors.

“We recently enhanced our assessment feature, which allows students to confidently self-evaluate, and witnessed consistent 150 per cent-plus month-on-month growth in questions attempted.”

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