Dubai-based edtech Qureos said on Wednesday that it has raised $3 million in a pre-seed round, announcing also the start of its operations in Pakistan.
The funding round was led by early-stage venture capitalist COTU Ventures, also from Dubai, and New York-based early-stage VC Colle Capital, added the company statement. The round also saw participation from Globivest, Plutus21 Capital, Dubai Angel Investors, and AlZayani Venture Capital.
Qureos said it plans to use this investment to build product-led operations and expand its remote-first team with a focus on hiring talent for their offices in the UAE, Pakistan and India.
On the back of the fundraise, Qureos also officially launched its operations in Pakistan and said it plans to invest heavily in the country to create 1 million learning opportunities and facilitate over 100,000 jobs within the next 3 years.
"With 29% of the population between the age of 15 to 29, Pakistan is an ideal country to focus on, in-line with the company’s mission to 'accelerate 100 million careers'," stated the company.
"Qureos also plans to expand its team in the country where over 50% of the company’s current workforce resides."
About the startup
Founded in August 2021 by Alexander Epure, Mehrad Yaghmai and Usama Nini, Queros began as a project for the founders to accelerate careers by making mentorship more accessible.
At present, Qureos says it is building an experiential learning community to change how people connect, learn and work, and is helping people from over 127 countries learn in-demand skills through cohort-based learning paths led by world-class industry experts that match the hiring demands from Qureos’ business partners.
It says it looks to solve the skill gap in the transition from campus to the workplace and those changing careers.
"Globally, there are 254 million Gen Z who have graduated and are still unemployed due to the skill gap, most notably in emerging markets where youth unemployment is above 36%.
"The job market is changing faster than school curriculums and emerging talent are not getting traditional job placements. Qureos is tapping into the $470-billion e-learning and future of work markets that are currently separated," it said.
The company said it has been been able to achieve organic growth of 25,000+ users, as well as attracting mentors from leading organisations including Google, Paypal, Amazon, Cisco, and more than 100 business partners globally.
“Learning and hiring are disconnected and Qureos aims to leverage its position through an experiential learning community where talent can learn from industry experts and gain experience,” said Alexander Epure, co-founder and CEO at Qureos.
Nini said Dubai’s tech ecosystem has been growing tremendously for the last few years with highly innovative business models.
"This creates a dire need for upskilled talent to keep up with the changing business needs which creates a great space for Qureos to operate in and complement the growth in the industry," Nini told Business Recorder.
In an earlier interview, Dubai Chambers President and CEO H.E. Hamad Buamim had said there is massive potential to further links between Pakistan and the UAE, particularly in the startup space.
Buamim said Dubai’s startup ecosystem “can play a huge part in expanding economic cooperation between the UAE and Pakistan … as Dubai looks to transform itself into a global innovation hub” and is “wooing entrepreneurs from around the world”. Helping startups get investment plays a big role in this courtship.
“The emirate’s focus is primarily on technology-driven startups that can support its transition to a knowledge-based digital economy,” he had said, echoing Nini's views.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has also been gripped with fundraising frenzy since last year when it attracted a record amount of nearly $350 million across 81 deals.
It seemed to have carried on with its momentum, as startups announced raising another $163 million during the first quarter of 2022, an amount little under half of the entire sum raised in 2021, according to a Deal Flow Tracker by Invest2Innovate (i2i).
Just days ago, COLABS, a Lahore-based startup that provides flexible workspaces to SMEs, entrepreneurs and freelancers, announced that it has raised $3 million in a seed round.