EdTech, or education technology, is an emerging sector of the rapidly growing world of tech. Specifically, EdTech refers to the utilisation and management of technology, especially by way of accessible delivery, to improve all aspects of education. The global EdTech market is projected to grow 17% annually and break $252 billion USD by 2020. Asia is demonstrating the fastest investment growth in Edtech, and the Asia-Pacific region is expected to represent 54% of the EdTech market by 2020. The emergence of startups in EdTech in Thailand and EdTech accelerators, such as StormBreaker Venture, reflect the long-recognised need for the digitisation of education.
Here, we look at four promising EdTech startups addressing the gaps in education in Thailand.
‘Ins’ from ‘inspire’ and ‘Kru’ meaning ‘teachers’—InsKru is a local startup providing a platform for teachers to share teaching methods, pedagogical ideas, and techniques of engagement with students from primary school through high school. InsKru founders’ desire to connect educators from across the nation through EdTech reflects their general philosophy of teachers as crucial components of education development in Thailand. Educators can view articles posted by other teachers about ideas ranging from engaging and educational games or note-taking techniques, and they can post specific questions for other teachers to respond with their own experiences and solutions.
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Five months after launch, they connected more than 500 registered teachers with at least 50 teachers regularly and actively sharing their ideas. InsKru’s Facebook page also currently boasts over 92,000 followers. They received funding from StormBreaker Venture, an accelerator for EdTech that recognises and supports promising EdTech startups throughout Southeast Asia.
OpenDurian is an education technology platform utilising artificial intelligence to develop educational content based on Thai education data. The EdTech company develops free test preparation materials and premium video courses for three target groups: K-12 students, college students, and first-time jobseekers. The online courses cover subjects such as biology and mathematics and prepare users for English language tests, general aptitude tests, and doctor aptitude tests. OpenDurian provides users with exam preparation courses specifically for advanced standardised tests, such as the PAT, the SAT, Smart-I, and the CU-AAT.
Founded in 2013, OpenDurian began with an initial registered capital of ฿100,000 THB and joined Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) EdStart global programme, which provides mentorship, cloud technology, and technical support to facilitate the growth of various EdTech startups. The company booked its first revenue of ฿50 million THB in 2018. There are now 3.9 million active users on the OpenDurian platform.
Voxy is an English language education programme designed for students and working professionals seeking to improve their English skills. With an international team of linguists, scientists, developers, designers, and ESL teachers, Voxy offers courses in general English, as well as exam preparation courses for the IELTS test, TOEFL exam, TEFL pedagogy exam. Voxy also provides courses aligned with an impressive range of careers, including business, medicine, law, and hospitality. This EdTech company features solutions targeting individuals wanting to hone their English skills, language schools seeking to employ Voxy’s program in the classroom, and corporations hoping to improve their employees’ English skills to business proficiency.
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Voxy integrates the latest language acquisition science to address specific needs tailored to each individual or group of language learners. Utilising the widely available web technologies today, such as video conferencing, it is a solid facilitator of English language learning spanning across continents.
Quest Language is an EdTech startup offering live, real-time classes and tutoring sessions that cover subjects including English phonics for reading and vocabulary, general English, and STEM mathematics. Quest also provides online exam preparation courses for the IELTS, GED and IGCSE, SAT and SAT II Subject tests, and TOEFL MUIC exams, in addition to courses for the CU-AAT, CU-TEP, TU-GET, and IP-EP-MLP exams.
All teachers are native English speakers who have graduated from various fields of study and hold certified teaching qualifications. Students and students’ parents can choose their teacher or tutor and communicate with them directly. All courses are recorded for the students’ unlimited review.
Quest also provides EdTech consulting services for businesses interested in utilising education technology, especially businesses regarding aviation, medicine, and business and finance. Quest provides web-based technology for distance learning as well as curriculum planning. Some of Quest’s other services include application development, database development, UNIX and Linux system administration, security services, and customer service training.
By 2035, the global population of students is expected to explode to 2.7 billion, and Asia already represents the largest education system in the world, with more than 600 million students currently enrolled in K-12 schools. EdTech startups in Thailand are only beginning to tackle the national gaps in education regarding accessibility, quality, and growing demand—but according to the nation’s current and future educational needs, EdTech in Thailand is set to continue to grow.