TAPCareers, a Dutch-Palestinian EdTech and career acceleration platform designed to unlock remote job opportunities for youth in MENA, has raised $1 million in a seed funding round led by Wamda Capital with participation from the World Bank, Loyal VC, and other angel investors.
Co-founded in 2018 by Jafar Shunnar and Christian Vezjak, TAPCareers bridges the gap between marginalized populations and the tech sector. The platform offers skills upgrading and development opportunities — 10 weeks of online education — to students and connects companies — mainly in Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain — to a pool of trained and vetted graduates. While being mentored by industry experts, TAP learners enhance and deepen market-relevant digital skills and improve their power skills before they are connected with international employers to work remotely.
In 2019, the founders launched Kiitos, a software house spotlighting underrepresented Palestinian software engineers in the global tech market. Over time, Kiitos transformed itself from a job provider to a platform for accelerating talent. In 2020, the Talent Acceleration Platform (TAP) emerged within Kiitos to fast-track trainees for roles at international companies. When they began requesting Kiitos-trained talent for other tech roles, TAP took off as its own firm.
Speaking about the company, Co-founder & CEO of TAPCareers, Christian Vezjak, said:
We plan to turn TAP into an ecosystem where thousands of jobs are created, enabling high-potential youth to access the opportunities they deserve.
The Startup has partnered with the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to create jobs. It has imparted training to more than 100 students in one year, intending to place more than 1,000 graduates on jobs yearly. The firm is currently operational in Palestine where 40% of graduates and 60% of women under 30 are unemployed.
According to an investment announcement, TAPCareers aims to expand throughout the Middle East and North African region, which will need 300 million new jobs to accommodate the youth population by 2050.