Orcas, a mobile marketplace that connects parents and students with tutors and babysitters has raised $500K in a pre-Series A funding round led by Egypt’s Algebra Ventures with participation from NFX Capital.
Orcas’ marketplace addresses an enormous pain-point in a deeply
fragmented market; providing a platform that connects thousands of students of
all educational stages and systems with verified, user-rated, and specialised
tutors in a country where over 50% of its 22 million students receive private
tutoring every year. With over 20,000 students on the application, Orcas
currently operates in Cairo, Alexandria, El Gouna, and the North Coast.
Founded in 2014, Orcas is managed by Hossam Taher and Amira El Gharib.
Taher, CEO, is a medical doctor by training and started Orcas when he was a
student himself. ‘We saw that there were very few flexible work opportunities
for university students, but that there was a huge need for qualified and
trusted tutors,’ says Taher. ‘We solved this problem by creating a platform for
them to connect – creating jobs for young people as educators while
simultaneously providing school-age students with the best tutors for them.’
Orcas is Algebra’s second investment in a learning platform in the
Middle East after backing Little Thinking Minds in 2018. ‘Orcas complements
strained traditional educational institutions by connecting students with
specialised tutors who enable individualised learning,‘ says an Algebra
spokesperson. ‘The one-size-fits-all model is leaving many young people behind,
and the market is ripe for technological disruption.’
‘Orcas and other tech-enabled tutoring platforms are delivering today on
what academic research promised more than 20 years ago,’ adds Ahmed Elkalla,
Managing Partner at NFX Capital. ‘Students who are tutored one-to-one perform
significantly better than students who learn via conventional instructional
methods. This used to be a luxury very few people could afford but now through
tech-enabled platforms like Orcas a much wider group of students can reap the
personalized tutoring benefits.’
Commenting on the investment, Amira El Gharib, Orcas’ Chief Growth
Officer notes, ‘Our students, parents, and partners are our primary focus. We
will use this investment to develop our product offering and scale our
operational capacity with the end goal of optimising user experience for all
This summer, Orcas is going to launch a new feature, called Discoveries-events that allow children to expand their horizons and explore a range of exciting activities. Offering everything from cooking and coding workshops to art, culture, and music trips in a variety of languages – they’re designed to safely engage children while developing their skills and enriching their experiences.