Irish and Egyptian governments back study abroad platform Educatly

Educatly, which calls itself an “educational platform that provides learning opportunities and educational networking”, closed pre-seed funding for $1 million with a key contribution from Enterprise Ireland.

“Students want to have transparent access to all relevant opportunities out there while getting as personalised support as possible”

The company has seen substantial growth since its launch in late 2020, just surpassing 100,000 users in recent days from 190 countries across the globe.

Educatly’s two facets are its course search platform, where universities and students can post their courses and their curriculums respectively, while the other focuses entirely on social needs.

“The social aspect is purely centred on the students,” Mohmmed El Sonbaty told The PIE News.

“They are the people that are actually going through this experience, so it’s for them to be able to foster this social community aspect – and as such they act like our global ambassadors,” he continued.

The startup is fostered by the ambition to “create an ecosystem” for students who are about to go on to higher education, essentially creating a LinkedIn-style network for students to share information with both fellow students and universities alike.

The ultimate is to “build for education what LinkedIn has built for jobs”.

The co-founders used to work at the globally renowned jobs and professional networking site.

“I worked in Ireland for LinkedIn with my co-founder – while we were there we had Educatly as a side project, and then finally quit once we got to the point where we felt we had enough resources and had established things,” El Sonbaty explained.

“Because of that base, we established Educatly in Ireland.”

Since setting up in 2020, Educatly has the ambition to “achieve its growth plans faster” using AI technology and Blockchain, while still fostering the social aspect they founded the company on.

“Students want to have transparent access to all relevant opportunities out there while getting as personalised support as possible to reach the best possible decision,” said Abdelrahman Ayman, another co-founder of Educatly.

“We leverage the latest technologies to narrow down the most relevant programs to support the decision-making process for them and offer personalised support through our network of consultants and ambassadors,” Ayman added.

Since the closure of this pre-seed round, Educatly has onboarded more than 450 schools around the globe.

Aside from receiving seed money from Enterprise Ireland, Educatly also got funding from Falak Startups, a start-up accelerator backed by the Egyptian government. Other investors included Seod Ventures, which is also based in Ireland.

“I move between Ireland, Dubai and Egypt for the company – our focus at the moment is on the MENA region, from a student perspective,” El Sonbaty explained.

El Sonbaty made clear that the challenges facing the education ecosystem were ones that Educatly was directly created to combat.

“The challenge Educatly address affects millions of students and educators globally – in the last few decades, the incredible speed in digital transformation across every sector has left some lacking behind,” El Sonbaty said.

“We are concerned about education as the global education ecosystem is fragmented and largely built on already ill-fitting infrastructure.”

“The challenge Educatly address affects millions of students and educators globally”

The platform also showcases scholarships, language courses, professors, students and alumni.

Institutions already using Educatly include the University of Michigan, the University of Liverpool and American University in Dubai.

“I did study abroad myself, first hand – I studied in Ireland and it was a transformational experience,” El Sonbaty added.

“My three years at LinkedIn in Ireland was where I literally learnt the power of a site like that to connect companies directly to people; if that same thing happens in this context, in one ecosystem, then all efficiency problems could start to vanish. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

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