Qureos, a UAE-based edtech and remote work marketplace transforming the way people educate themselves and get jobs around the world, plans to increase adoption of its platform 10x this year to to create 100 million jobs in the next few years. The startup today announced it has closed $3 million in pre-seed funding to accelerate that growth.
Qureos was founded in August last year by Alexander Epure, Mehrad Yaghmai and Usama Nini to make mentoring more accessible for people starting their careers or changing jobs.
The startup has evolved into a platform that enables cohort-based, synchronized learning led by industry experts (mentors) who use the platform to monetize their expertise.
Qureos also brings the trainees together with projects in their respective fields of study on its platform.
“The experience we have at Qureos is learning from others and from industry experts through project-based learning or case study solutions,” said Epure, CEO of Qureos, who along with Nini are former employees of Swvl.
Epure added that Qureos learning is a departure from massive self-paced open online courses (MOOC), which he says are often difficult to scale due to the need for constant updating.
At Qureos, trainees are given practical tasks that they have to solve in groups on behalf of customer companies.
“Everyone submits their work, gets feedback, an evaluation 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 over 25,000 trainees, 200 mentors from big tech companies like Google, Cisco and Amazon, and 300 business partners who use its platform to get work done.
Apprentices pay a fee, while companies pay subscription fees based on the frequency and nature of the job postings.
The startup’s user base comes from 133 countries, with about 32% of them from Africa and mainly in South Africa and the North Africa region.
Epure said they create new learning and work opportunities for millions of Gen Z youth and the millennial demographics who are largely unemployed or underemployed due to a lack of marketable skills that are often not taught in traditional curricula. The startup was recently selected by Dubai Future Accelerators to bridge the skills gap of unemployed and young professionals.
At the same time, Epure said the platform helps companies reduce the cost and time it takes to hire new employees by up to 79%, as potential employers quickly recruit new talent based on the results of projects run by trainees be able.
The pre-seed round was led by Dubai-based COTU Ventures and New York-based Colle Capital – who helped Swvl go public through a special-purpose acquisition vehicle last week.
Victoria Grace, Founder and Managing Partner of Colle Capital, said: “We see tremendous opportunity in Qureos’ mission to fill knowledge gaps and upskill professionals by leveraging the extraordinary path of direct mentorship. At the same time, this platform offers a fantastic opportunity for highly qualified individuals to directly monetize their knowledge, reinforced by strong network effects, and for companies to access high-quality and motivated talent pools.”
Global and regional investors also attended the round, including Globivest, Plutus21 Capital, Dubai Angel Investors and AlZayani Venture Capital, as well as a range of angel investors including current and former executives from Swvl, Boston Consulting Group, Moelis & Company, and Careem Cisco Systems, Koinz, Message Bird, Bain & Company, Hiperpool, ADNOC, QIA.
Qureos plans to use the funding after a period of “organic growth” for a marketing campaign to increase awareness and adoption.
“We have a global presence today and in order to maintain it in the future we are building a team to support our growth plans and that includes building various 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 offers a validated and unique learning method that also ensures that the trainees have access to world-class mentors.”