The emerging sector of EdTech–the management of technological processes and resources with digital delivery systems to improve educational levels–is rapidly climbing in Southeast Asia. The Edtech market is expected to grow 17% annually and reach $252 billion USD globally by 2020, according to a report by EdTech XGlobal and IBIS Capital. Crunchbase, a business information platform for discovering investments, industry trends, and funding information, predicts that the Asia-Pacific region will represent 54% of the global EdTech market by 2020.
We already explored the Edtech startup scene before and we have updated the list to focus on the rest of companies making a splash in 2019.
Here we look at five of the top EdTech startups in Southeast Asia for 2019:
Founded in 2014 by Belva Devara and Iman Usman, Ruangguru, a subscription-learning, private-tutoring marketplace, is a one-stop learning-technology company based in Indonesia, providing a complete learning solution for grades six to 12. The company’s mobile app offers learning videos based on a standardised syllabus, practice tests in a variety of subjects, and course summaries for review. It even matches students to private tutors for long-term help. The app’s chat function provides students with on-demand tutoring services from qualified teachers and consultants.
Ruangguru has over 6 million users and manages over 150,000 teachers, offering services in more than 100 subjects. It partners with local governments to provide quality education through the Learning Management System (LMS) and has worked with 32 (out of 34) provincial governments over 326 municipalities and districts across Indonesia. Ruangguru has raised a total of $50 thousand USD in six rounds of funding.
XSEED, a Singapore-based enterprising educational-software firm, founded by Ashish Rajpal, is changing K-8 education worldwide. XSEED incorporates digital material–like learning apps for students and lesson plans for teachers–with state-of-the-art course studies in a combined and relatively affordable package for schools. XSEED’s research-based, five-step method builds thinking skills and problem-solving confidence in children. The app provides hands-on activities, and opportunities for reflective analysis, application, and assessment. Children who have participated in the process have shown a marked improvement in curiosity, confidence, the ability to reflect, and higher-order thinking skills. The XSEED ‘classroom toolkit’ includes over 10,000 step-by-step teaching plans, application-oriented student learning materials, and skill-focused assessments to provide individualised feedback. Teachers are provided with year-round coaching and training, equipping them with the necessary knowledge to guide their classrooms.
XSEED’s Parent App generates a report showing how a child is doing on Skill Development–Conceptual Understanding and Problem-Solving skills, permitting parents to monitor their child’s progress on monthly tests. Specific feedback on strengths and areas that need development are also shared, allowing XSEED to personalise learning for every child using the power of technology. XSEED serves 750,000 children and has raised a total of $10 million USD in a single round of funding.
Smarter Me, co-founded by Lim Ee Ling and Liaw Yit Ming, is described as “a live online school that offers classes in critical knowledge and skills for the future.” It gives children the opportunity to follow “curated and holistic classes” in which they learn coding, robotics, entrepreneurship, and digital art–considered necessary skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “We believe that education for children can be more relevant and realistic, to better prepare them for the technology-charged future. The goal is to help kids understand their purpose and goal in life, to discover themselves,” according to CEO and co-founder, Ee Ling.
We spoke to Ee Ling earlier about the education market in the region and how it is changing
Smarter Me’s mastery courses, taught via live-streaming video are created by industry practitioners and incorporate real-world challenges introduced by the company’s corporate partners, which serve as future-employer endorsements for the kids. Student and teachers interact in real time and questions are answered live. No funding information was available at the time of this writing.
Founded in 2013 by Ho Hong Bao Tram, Minh Nguyen and Nguyen Tan Hieu, Kyna.vn is an e-learning platform with the objective of helping young Vietnamese graduates, “build their professional and soft skills with professionals and a community of learners.” A marketplace for online courses–created by local and international experts and delivered by experienced professionals–Kyna vn.’s mission is to “enhance the value of knowledge.” Formerly DeltaViet, the rebranded Kyna.vn has also enabled gamification features which allow users to earn credits for completing practices and assessment. These can be converted into books or exchanged for vouchers for their next course.
Currently, Kyna.vn partners with more than 100 experts and has published 200 courses in diversified fields such as communication skills, sales, business, entrepreneurship, and digital marketing. Kyna.vn has raised an undisclosed amount in round 1 seed funding.
Founded in 2010 by Mariko Tokioka and Masayuki Watanabe in the United Kingdom and established in the Philippines in 2014, Quipper, initially a quiz-based e-learning app, provides academic courses designed for children ages eight to 12, and offers professional qualifications for teachers. The Quipper School service provides teachers with education department-sanctioned content to assist in managing their classes and collect statistics of their students’ performance.
Students interact with the teachers via a messaging system. With Quipper’s premium service, they can also access quizzes (with accompanying PDF versions of the lessons) of recorded topics by teachers through online streaming video. Quipper’s services–reasonably priced and regularly updated with local content–are built by teachers themselves.
Quipper has grown to an estimated 1.2 million subscribers and the e-learning platform, built by a global team, is now available in nine countries, with offices in London, Tokyo, and Manila. Quipper raised a total of $10.1 million USD in funding over three rounds before being acquired in 2015 by Japanese Recruit CO, LTD for $39 million USD.
With the growing demand for quality education in the Southeast Asian region, learning-centric platforms delivered through technology will facilitate access to quality content for students and teachers throughout the region. New waves of EdTech are providing innovative solutions that are transforming the learning experience and will undoubtedly continue to grow as we navigate our Fourth Industrial Revolution.