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Ed-tech startup Zookal raises $15 million to accelerate its growth in South East Asia

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Ahmed Haider CEO Zookal 2 (3)
Ahmed Haider, CEO Zookal

Zookal, the global student support platform that provides a variety of services and products such as textbooks to help make student university life easy has raised AUD$15 million in equity funding in an oversubscribed round to accelerate the company’s growth in South East Asia. This brings the total amount raised for the company to AUD$25 million.

Existing investors Koh Boon Hwee (former Chairman of Singapore Airlines and technology investor) and Bernard Sabrier (Chairman of USD$26 billion fund, Unigestion) led the round with participation from Wee Hur Holdings Ltd, a publicly listed  Singaporean construction and property development company that has a portfolio of purpose built student accommodation.         .

What will Zookal use this funding for?

The capital raise will support the company’s growth in South East Asia by allowing Zookal to triple the size of its engineering team and make strategic hires including its recent appointment of VP engineering, Manuel Silva who was the former director of engineering and consumer product of The Iconic

Ahmed Haider, Co-founder and CEO of Zookal said the company is on track to reach $35 million in revenue this year (up from $25m in 2019) and has been growing at 264% C.A.G.R.

“Over the past eight years we have saved students tens of millions of dollars on their educational costs and provide services to 750,000 users across Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

“South East Asia is a very attractive market with our digital users growing to 300,000 in just 8-months. Our goal is to reach 10 million students in the coming years as Asia comes online by making education more affordable and accessible to them,” said Mr Haider.

Commenting on the deal, Goh Yeow Lian, Chairman of Wee Hur Holdings says, “Our investment in Zookal is driven by the fact that both organisations are focused on delivering the best education experience for tertiary students. At Wee Hur, we always aim to be ahead of the curve and we are excited to be working with the team at Zookal and partnering up with them to help make student learning  effortless, which in turn will support innovation in the education sector as a whole.”

Aayush Phumbhra, co-founder, Chegg says, “The Zookal team has done a tremendous job in building the Chegg-equivalent in Australia and South East Asia. With Zookal operating in the much larger Asia Pacific market, I see them reaching the same heights as what we were able to achieve at Chegg building a multi-billion dollar company. I’m confident that given the resources and time, the team will continue their strong digital acceleration and have a very meaningful impact on student’s lives globally. I’m excited to continue being a part of their journey as a mentor and shareholder.”

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