Edtech Startup Baims Raises Funding To Offer Students Accessible Educational Content
"Before COVID-19, [people] thought that edtech startup solutions are a secondary option, but today, it's a need and a must!"
This article is part of a series on pioneering entrepreneurs in Kuwait that Entrepreneur Middle East has built in collaboration with Kuwait Finance House. Kuwait Finance House is considered a pioneer in Islamic finance or Sharia’a compliant banking, with it being the first Islamic bank established in 1977 in the State of Kuwait, and is today one of the foremost Islamic financial institutions in the world.
Kuwait edtech startup Baims had successfully raised an undisclosed seed funding in a round led by AlWazzan Education, a service provider of K-12 American, British and Arabic education in Kuwait, joined by VC firm Seed Partners and several angel investors.
Launched in 2017, Baims is an e-learning platform for Kuwait students which digitizes the offline tutoring experience and make content accessible online. Started by Yousef AlHusaini and Bader Alrshaid while pursuing their engineering degrees in Kuwait University, it was originally focused on engineering subjects and grew to tailor fit high-quality tutoring courses based on the university curriculum. With a 70% discount on the price tag of a normal tutoring hour, AlHusaini notes that the startup broken even within 24 hours.
AlHusaini commends the help of their early supporters, including engineer Khalid Albash who taught physics and lent his office to shoot Baims’ first courses. They also credit Hemma Tech Accelerator’s Jassem AlMutawa, who even while the duo were still university students, provided guidance on leadership, negotiation, and the significance of having a scalable plan, as well as offered his office and three studios too.
Consisting of top tier professors and tutors, the startup has expanded its scope to include colleges and universities in Kuwait and Riyadh, as well as added courses suited for high school students. The platform is run on a revenue-sharing model with its instructors, who provide content tailored for each subject. Available on web, iOS and Android devices, it has more than 1,000 recorded courses and 30,000+ lectures, with more than 450,000 course enrollments.
With the impact of the coronavirus pandemic crisis manifesting in all industries, Alhusaini and his team offered all of its high school courses for free, amassing over 130,000 new course subscriptions and introducing a large section of the high school population to online learning. He notes that it’s the best time for investors to leverage the opportunity in the huge digital transformation in the education sector, noting how Baims had received exponential growth in a matter of days. “Before COVID-19, [people] thought that edtech startup solutions are a secondary option, but today, it’s a need and a must!”
It’s the sentiment of one of their investors too- Fawaz AlObaid, Managing Partner of Seed Partnets comments, “We are thrilled to be joining Baims, a startup who we feel serves a much-needed purpose in our modern society. Baims is a unique and well-guided startup, focusing on empowering the youth and offering other models of education. Edtech has always been an intriguing field for Seeds Partners, and we are extremely honored to be associated with Baims and its founders in helping pave the way for future generations.”
The co-founders are keen to grow within the region. “Our ultimate goal is to be a part of the student’s life,” says Alhusaini. “Baims stand for Big Aims, and our aim is to build a strong youth community for a better educational ecosystem in the GCC and MENA region, and improve educational content.”
His piece of advice for fellow ‘treps: “Keep your burn rate low and hire based on your needs, be flexible with adapting the new change and to restructure your plan overall for 2020, and focus on user acquisition, market share and giving back to the community.”
Pamella de Leon is the Startup Section Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East. She is keen on the MENA region’s entrepreneurship potential, with a specific interest to support enterprises and individuals creating an impact.