Educational technology start-up On May 9, 2022, Manara received US$3 million in pre-seed funding from Silicon Valley investors in order to start world-class careers for the Middle East’s top female software engineers and accelerate the region’s progress toward becoming a globally renowned hub of tech talent.
Stripe led the funding round, which began in 2021 and included LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, Lean Startup creator Eric Ries, and Mudassir Sheikha (Founder & CEO of Careem).
What the founder has to say:
Iliana Montauk, co-founder, and CEO:
“If you know how to select and connect communities, they can be tremendously strong – the difficulty is recognizing when one hour of a Google engineer’s time has the most leverage.
We had more investor interest than we could handle, indicating a growing interest in platforms that connect online and offline communities, as well as methods to acquire highly trained labor from emerging countries in Silicon Valley.”
What the investors have to say:
Carlos Espinal, Managing Partner at Seedcamp:
“The tech sector in Europe is rapidly expanding. New talent access solutions, whether remote or onsite, are in high demand. Because of their proximity and time zones, the Middle East and North Africa are a natural fit. We’re thrilled to be investing in the first company to bridge these two markets, and we’re especially enthused about the founders’ commitment to female engineers.”
Manara is a social impact company with a mission to unleash the Middle East and North Africa’s human potential. Y Combinator, Stripe, and Reid Hoffman are among the world’s leading investors.
Manara is a cohort-based training program for computer science students and software engineers, connecting them to permanent, meaningful remote, and onsite positions with top companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Zalando, and Relational.
The website connects MENA engineers with a community of world-class tech professionals who offer mentorship and connections to help them secure top tech jobs. The community’s quality is further enhanced through progressive vetting as developers achieve key milestones.
Manara has achieved a historic milestone by hiring dozens of engineers from the Middle East and North Africa, including women, at leading tech companies such as Google, Meta, and Amazon. Their stories have gone widespread on the internet. When people join Manara, they typically earn between US $10 and $20 thousand each year. They are boosting their incomes by 300 percent on average every eight months, and some have even received salaries in excess of US $100,000.
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