Female engineers in the Middle East to get a boost with Manara pre-seed funding
Edtech start-up 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 in 2021 and includes Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Paul Graham (Y Combinator), Eric Ries (Lean Startup) and Mudassir Sheikha (Careem).
"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." says Carlos Espinal, Managing Partner at Seedcamp.
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.. The quality of this community is further reinforced through progressive vetting as engineers reach certain milestones.
“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,” says Iliana Montauk, co-founder and CEO. “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.”
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 FAANG (the acronym of Facebook (now Meta), Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google (now Alphabet) companies. Manara charges its community members and hiring partners, only if a successful match is made.