Dubai's Amanat Holdings invests $5mln in US-based edtech BEGIN

Transaction involves acquisition of more than 1.4 million shares

Dubai - View to the skyscrapers of the district Marina. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Dubai - View to the skyscrapers of the district Marina. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Dubai-based Amanat Holdings has invested 18.4 million UAE dirhams ($5 million) in education technology company called BEGIN.

The acquisition of more than 1.4 million shares, made through the wholly owned subsidiary AHE Investments Limited, is Amanat’s first-ever venture capital investment, the company specialising in healthcare and education said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on Sunday.

BEGIN is a US-based firm whose investors include LEGO Ventures,  Sesame Workshop, Gymboree Play & Music, and Interlock Partners, among others. It specialises in early childhood education through a platform aimed at children between two and eight years of age.

According to Dr. Homad Hamade, CEO of Amanat, the venture represents a major milestone for the company, given the “influential impact of disruptive technologies” on the sectors that they invest in. Hamade said they are looking at opportunities that are changing the education and healthcare landscapes.

“We believe this is an ideal time to invest in education and healthcare technology, to evolve our current portfolio as well as position Amanat as a strategic regional partner among global players in this space,” said Hamade.

“This transaction taps into our corporate ventures investment allocation to develop and establish partnerships with leading international providers whose business models are transferrable to the region,” he added.

Principal partner

As part of the investment, Amanat becomes the edtech company’s “principal strategic partner” in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Neal Shenoy, CEO and co-founder of BEGIN, said they look forward to expanding their business across the region through the partnership with Amanat.

The American company launched earlier this month the edtech industry’s first comprehensive early learning programme called HOMER Learn & Grow.

It expands the brand’s reading programme to additional subjects like Math, creativity, socio-emotional learning and critical thinking skills through digital, physical and in-person learning experiences.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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