- Launched in 2021 as the 'Netflix for students' by LUMS and Harvard alumni, Out-Class aims to become an equaliser for education
Pakistan's edtech startup Out-Class has raised $500,000 from its seed round, the company announced on Thursday. The investment round was led by Pakistan's House of Habib, alongside other global institutional and angel investors.
Launched in 2021 as the 'Netflix for students' by a LUMS alumna and two Harvard alumni, Out-Class is aiming to become an equaliser for education. It already serves over 10,000 students through bite-sized courses, the company said.
It added that it plans to deploy the new funds to expand its course offerings, invest in improving teacher quality and build new personalisation and adaptive features into its platform.
“We were inspired by the Out-Class team’s vision to make high-quality content accessible for students through an innovative, world-class platform,” said Hamza Habib, Non-Executive Director at House of Habib.
CEO Out-Class Aiman Bashir stated: “We started off by offering crash courses to students to prepare them for high-stakes exams at one-fourth the price of tuition academies. But we’re just getting started.
“Our goal is much bigger - in a country where one-third of children are out of school, we want to make high-quality education accessible and affordable to all."
With the recent investment and financial crunch setting in globally, the founders are wary but hopeful.
“We feel tremendous responsibility in our role towards contributing to Pakistan’s educational landscape and realise it needs a lot of work,” said co-founder Oosman Bashir. The educationalist added that the startup has sought investors who understood the market.
Talking to Business Recorder, Ali Nomani, another co-founder, said that the startup intends to launch more mass market products in the coming days. “We are currently designed for K-12 education, but our goal is to meet the educational needs of every Pakistani between the ages of 5-30.
"We will start offering SSC and matriculation products by the end of this year,” he said.
The co-founder said the startup is currently envisioned as a digital company, but also intends to open experience centres down the line.
Nomani said the startup is gearing up for the long-run, and intends to seek growth in Pakistan. “We are not seeking break-even but growth both in terms of number of students and course offerings. This fund too, is not designed to get us towards break-even,” he said.
He added that the edtech market in Pakistan will mature in the next three to five years, and has all the factors to reach its potential. “We have a huge population, high appetite for spending on education, and lastly, the access to technology is also getting cheaper. All these factors will push the sector to grow rapidly in the coming years.”
Pakistan’s startup sector witnessed its best year in 2021, as 81 deals worth $350 million were secured. The amount raised was more than 5x of what was raised in 2020 i.e. $65 million.
In 2022, the startup sector has continued its momentum despite various hiccups. During the first quarter, startups raised a substantial $163 million, according to a Deal Flow Tracker by Invest2Innovate.
Just last week, Pakistan’s logistics startup Rider raised $3.1 million in a funding round.