Edtech startup Manara raises $3mn in pre-seed funding

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Edtech startup Manara has raised $3 million in pre-seed funding from Silicon Valley investors to launch world-class careers for the top female software engineers in the Middle East and accelerate the region’s progress in becoming a globally-recognized hub of tech talent.

The funding round was led by Stripe starting and includes Mr. Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, Mr. Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, Mr. Eric Ries, founder of Lean Startup and Mr. Mudassir Sheikha, Founder and CEO of Careem.

Manara’s solution enables cohort-based learning for software engineers and computer scientists via a digital platform that has allowed it to scale rapidly across the region. Manara’s success metrics point to the quality of the talent in its pool. On average users’ salaries have increased 300 percent.

86 percent of the engineers from Manara’s last cohort received job offers within five months of graduating, with more than half of those offers coming from Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (FAANG) companies. Manara charges its community members and hiring partners, only if a successful match is made.

Iliana Montauk
Iliana Montauk
Co-founder & CEO

“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, signaling an increasing interest from Silicon Valley in platforms that facilitate online and offline communities, and solutions to access highly-skilled talent from emerging markets.”

The platform brings together a community of world-class tech professionals who provide mentorship and networks to help MENA engineers land a top tech jobs. The quality of this community is further reinforced through progressive vetting as engineers reach certain milestones.

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.

Related: Tamweel Aloula raises capital to $133.2mn to fuel its expansion plans