Manara, EdTech startup, raised $3 million in a pre-seed funding from Silicon Valley investors to launch world-class careers for female software engineers in the Middle East.
The funding round was led by Stripe and includes Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn, Paul Graham, Founder of Y Combinator, Eric Ries, Founder of Lean Startup, and Mudassir Sheikha, Founder & CEO of Careem.
Manara’s solution enables cohort-based learning for software engineers and computer scientists via a digital platform.
“Communities can be extremely powerful if you are smart about how to curate and connect them – the trick is knowing when one hour of a Google engineer’s time has the highest leverage. We received more appetite from investors than we could accommodate, signalling an increasing interest from Silicon Valley in platforms that facilitate online and offline communities, and solutions to access highly-skilled talent from emerging markets,” said Iliana Montauk, co-founder and CEO.
The platform brings together a community of world-class tech professionals who provide mentorship and networks to help MENA engineers land a top tech job.
Manara plans to use this investment to scale its existing cohort-based solution to go from 60 engineers per year to 6,000 engineers per year. In addition, the team plans to launch a self-service product for interview practice, networking and mentorship that can reach millions of software engineers.
“Europe’s tech sector is growing quickly. There’s a massive need for new solutions to access talent, whether remote or onsite. The Middle East and North Africa is an obvious fit because of proximity and time zones. We’re very excited to back the first startup bridging these two markets – and are particularly excited about the founders’ commitment to women engineers,” Carlos Espinal, Managing Partner at Seedcamp, stated.
If you see something out of place or would like to contribute to this story, check out our Ethics and Policy section.