Egyptian startup PraxiLabs is working to provide people with equal opportunities to obtain an enhanced science education by providing 3D interactive virtual simulations that are safe, affordable and accessible anytime, anywhere, for educational institutions and students alike.
Launched in 2016, PraxiLabs is an online learning platform providing interactive science labs for students, even enabling scientific experiments that are not doable in the real lab.
“While a lot of educational areas have benefited and progressed through ed-tech, the labs situation remained “as is”. It is important to get hands-on experience, and this went neglected for a long time,” Khadija ElBedweihy, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of PraxiLabs, told Disrupt Africa.
“Now with simulations, students get very close to the real experience and practice as much as possible so that they make the best out of it once they have a chance to get into a real lab, or even if they don’t get into the real lab they will have still learned, experienced and practiced a very real-life-like environment.”
The startup has seen steady growth in users since its launch.
“Our initial aim was to create brand awareness and for people to get to know PraxiLabs,” ElBedweihy said. “Things have increased heavily since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is increased demand for online learning. Until today, more than 65,000 students have benefited from our labs.”
In fact, PraxiLabs is currently serving B2B customers in seven countries – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United States (US), Peru, the United Kingdom (UK), Singapore and Thailand – and planning further expansion.
“We are aiming to heavily grow into the African markets, to further grow in the Americas and Europe, in addition to expanding further into Asia,” said ElBedweihy. The startup also has B2C users in 160 countries.
All of this has been achieved with relatively little funding. PraxiLabs raised US$150,000 after taking part in the Norway-based Katapult Accelerator in 2018, but beyond that is self-funded. ElBedweihy said it is in the process of raising a round, and has some soft commitments from some angels.
“We are still looking for the right VC as we are not only interested in the cash but also the right network, experience and understanding of the ed-tech industry,” she said.