Pakistani EdTech startup Out-Class, launched in 2021 as the “Netflix for Students”, has announced the completion of its Seed Round funding. While the round remains open for like-minded investors, the company has capped the raise at $500,000. Founded by a LUMS alumna and two Harvard alumni, Out-Class aims to become an equalizer for education, already serving over 10,000 students through their self-paced, bite-sized courses.
The investment round was led by the House of Habib, joined by other global institutional and angel investors. “We were inspired by the Out-Class team’s vision to make high-quality content accessible for students through an innovative, world-class platform,” says Hamza Habib.
“We are proud to back a team that has a wealth of experience in the sector and is dedicated to strengthening the skills of Pakistani students, creating access to better opportunities for many.” The company plans to deploy this capital to expand its course offerings, invest more in teacher quality and build new personalization and adaptive features into its platform.
“For Out-Class, the stepping stone has been Pakistan’s test-prep market. We started off by offering crash courses to students to prepare them for high-stakes exams at one-fourth the price of tuition academies,” says founding CEO Aiman Bashir. “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.”
Already supporting schools in remote areas of Pakistan such as the outskirts of Quetta and Mardan, the company has its eyes set on every corner of the country.
“We poured our life savings to start this company in our basement nearly two years ago,” says Aiman. “From day one, our north star has been to stay lean on operations and heavy on customer satisfaction. This meant spending hours speaking to our growing user base daily, learning what was working and what needed to be improved.”
With the recent investment and financial crunch setting in globally, the founders feel 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. We perceive EdTech to be a marathon, not a sprint – something our investors also align on. We sought investors who understood the market and felt a personal skin in the game for the future of Pakistan,” says co-founder Oosman Bashir.
The pandemic may have bolstered Pakistan’s EdTech landscape, but it remains fraught with challenges.
Ali Nomani, co-founder and one of Pakistan’s leading educationists, says, “With this announcement, we aspire to take on the additional responsibility of adding maturity to the overall EdTech space in Pakistan. EdTech is perhaps one of the most underrated but crucial sectors for our country. We simply cannot meet our growing demand for education; for teachers, classrooms and trainers, with brick & mortar schools. Technology is the only way to scale education affordably and quickly. To this end, we are keen to partner with all – educators, families, and investors. Please remember us with your best wishes.”