There are over 400 million Arabic speakers in the world and that number won’t slow down anytime soon. Arabic, for most people, is a difficult language, even for those who speak it. According to Duolingo, someone who is fluent in Egyptian Arabic might not fully understand Yemeni Arabic speakers due to the big difference in dialect.
While individuals can easily navigate dialects, it can be relatively difficult for them to find bespoke Arabic content essential for everyday life.
Dr Ihab Fikry and Ibrahim Kame founded Almentor.net in 2016 as an online video learning platform to make up for this lack of online learning content for Arabic speakers.. Together with hundreds of executives, educators and experts, the platform offers courses and conferences in various fields such as health, humanities, technology, entrepreneurship, business management. , lifestyle, theater, sport, business communication and digital media..
In 2016, Almentor closed a $ 3.5 million funding round and two years ago raised $ 4.5 million from Series A led by Egyptian Sawari Ventures.. With this Series B investment, Dubai-based edtech has raised a total of $ 14.5 million. San Francisco and Paris-based venture capital firm Partech led the round with participation from Sawari Ventures, another Series A investor Egypt Ventures and Sango Capital..
Almentor equips Arab learners with the necessary skills crucially necessary to advance their professional and personal life. The platform claims to have the largest lifelong learning library in the region and one of the largest in the world. With offices in Dubai, Cairo and Saudi Arabia, its video content is developed in-house and made in Arabic and English.
“The vision and reason for starting Almentor is that we understand that in our region of over 100 million people, 90% of whom cannot correctly learn with any language other than Arabic, ”Fikry told TechCrunch. “So we wanted to have a cutting edge platform that will change people’s ideology and help them be goal, and focus on topics that may to be taught like a prodigious learning. “
For new products like Almentor it can be difficult to involve both investors and customers. According to CEO Fikry, the first challenge was to convince the investment community in the MENA region that Almentor was creating a new video e-learning industry that “had a lot of potential to power the tools of the region.. “
Almentor’s business is at the crossroads of education, media and technology. Its offers are dissected in three: the flagship B2C, a white label B2B model for blue chip companies, and the last, which Fikry calls the “special project” for government agencies.
For the B2C product, Almentor sells courses to users for $ 20 to $ 30, which they can keep for life. Fikry says that in June, the company plans to introduce a subscription-based model where users can have unlimited access to all its 12,000 paid video content to its more than 1 million registered users.
The B2B model is where Almentor opens its library to companies to personalize their content for employees.. These videos are mostly tutorials or training necessary to prosper at work, and since 2016, Almentor has carried out 78 transactions with partner companies.
The special project model highlights Almentor’s work with the government. The company once had a partnership with the Egyptian government to improve the skills of the country’s film industry. It has completed 11 other similar special projects since its launch five years ago.
Of the three models, Fikry says that Almentor has with success delivered over 2 million learning experiences. With this investment, the the company wants to improve the production and quality of the content and educate the people of the MENA region on why they need the product.
“We are now at the forefront of the continuous video learning industry in the Arab region, and we have a responsibility that goes beyond our ambitions for Almentor.. Our responsibility now is to work non-stop improve the industry as a whole in the Arab region, and this can only be achieved by gaining the confidence of Arab learners in the value, professionalism and impartiality of the content provided by the platform and by working in accordance with global learning trends. “
Speaking on the investment for Partech, General Partner Cyril Collon said: “Since our first interaction, we have been very impressed with Ihab and Ibrahim, two fantastic mission-driven entrepreneurs who have been executing a bold vision since 2016 and who built the leading provider of self-study Arabic content in the Middle East and Africa. We look forward to supporting the company in its next phase of growth to serve the 430 million Arabic-speaking people and expand access to cutting-edge learning and personal development options on demand.. “