Qureos, a UAE-based edtech and remote work marketplace that is changing how people upskill and get jobs across the globe, plans to grow the uptake of its platform by 10 times this year in its race to create 100 million jobs over the next few years. The startup has today announced closing a $3 million pre-seed funding to accelerate this growth.
Qureos was founded in August last year by Alexander Epure, Mehrad Yaghmai and Usama Nini in a bid to make mentorship more accessible to individuals that are starting out in their careers, or looking to switch jobs.
The startup has grown into a platform that allows cohort-based synchronized learning led by industry experts (mentors), who use the platform to monetize their expertise.
Qureos also matches the trainees on its platform with projects in their respective fields of study.
“The experience that we have at Qureos is about learning from others and from industry experts, and through project-based learning or case study solutions,” said Qureos CEO Epure, who together with Nini is an ex-Swvl employees.
Epure added that Qureos learning is a shift from self-paced massive open online courses (MOOC), which he said are often hard to scale because they require constant updating.
At Qureos, trainees are assigned practical tasks to solve in groups on behalf of client companies.
“Everyone submits their work, gets feedback, a rating and reflection from the mentors. As such, you learn from peers and from the best in the world,” said Epure.
To date, Qureos has attracted more than 25,000 trainees, 200 mentors from big-tech companies like Google, Cisco and Amazon, and 300 business partners that are using its platform to complete tasks.
Trainees pay a fee while companies pay subscription charges based on the frequency and types of job postings.
The startup’s user-base originates from 133 countries, with about 32% being from Africa, and mainly residing in South Africa and the North Africa region.
Epure said they are creating new learning and work opportunities for the millions of youth in the Gen Z and millennial demographics, who are vastly unemployed or underemployed due to a lack of marketable skills that are often not taught in traditional curriculums. The startup was recently selected by Dubai Future Accelerators to solve the skills gap of the unemployed and those entering the job market.
At the same, Epure said that the platform is helping companies cut down the cost and time spent in hiring new staff by up to 79%, as potential employers can quickly recruit new talent based on the results of projects executed by trainees.
The pre-seed round was led by Dubai-based COTU Ventures and New York-based Colle Capital — which helped Swvl go public last week through a special purpose acquisition company.
Colle Capital founder and managing partner Victoria Grace said, “We see tremendous opportunity in Qureos’ mission to bridge knowledge gaps and upskill professionals through leveraging the extraordinary pathway with direct mentorship. Simultaneously, this platform provides a fantastic opportunity for highly-skilled individuals to directly monetize their knowledge, compounded by distinct network effects, and for companies to access high-quality and motivated pools of talent.”
The round also had participation from global and regional investors, including Globivest, Plutus21 Capital, Dubai Angel Investors and AlZayani Venture Capital, as well as a number of angel investors, including current and former leaders of Swvl, Boston Consulting Group, Moelis & Company, Careem, Cisco Systems, Koinz, Message Bird, Bain & Company, Hiperpool, ADNOC and QIA.
Qureos is planning to use the funding for a marketing drive to increase awareness and uptake, after a period of “organic growth”.
“We have a global footprint today and to sustain it moving forward we are building a team to help us with our growth plans, and this includes building different forms of awareness marketing. We also have an aggressive plan to strengthen our technology and product,” said Epure.
“The vision is to create an ecosystem that has a validated and unique way of learning that also ensures that trainees have access to world-class mentors.”