EdTech is short for education technology which aims to improve teaching and learning processes and therefore improving the performance of the education system. With technology having vastly improved many areas of our lives such as medicine and finance, it is only logical for what is considered a basic human right, education, to implement technology in ways that produce net positive results. Private companies can be a great complement to government education systems. EdTech is notable in Southeast Asia, particularly because over there, the education sector is growing exponentially. Top 10 of Asia looks at its list of the top 10 Southeast Asian EdTech Startups (presented in random order) that are playing an influential part in this rising industry.
Online learning site Zenius is a successful provider of video content and exercises to elementary and senior high school students in Indonesia. Founded by Sabda PS, the company has grown much over the years to an archive of more than 74,000 educational videos, even launching an English-learning website for Indonesians. It has gained more than 10,000,000 users since being founded. Zenius has been cited as bringing a revolution to Indonesian education with its emphasis on critical thinking, logic and science in its learning materials for students.
XSEED Education is an education company headquartered in Singapore, founded by Ashish Rajpal. The XSEED Method, also known as the 5-step experiential learning approach, is XSEED’s approach to teaching and learning. It was designed in 2008 after over five years of research by alumni from Harvard, Cambridge, MIT and IIM Ahmedabad. It was especially developed to align with existing international standards and the syllabus of various boards. It places emphasis on practice and assessment. As of 2018, the XSEED method is practised in an estimated 3,000 schools across Asia, serving children from birth to thirteen years old. XSEED Education serves over 1,000,000 children. The XSEED System is an integrated curriculum, teacher training and assessment program for K-8 schools (kindergarten to Grade 8).
EasyUni is South East Asia’s largest and fastest-growing higher education student portal, connecting millions of students and parents to colleges and universities around the world. With EasyUni, students can view university information, compare courses and teaching structures, view scholarship offers from local and international universities as well as communicate directly to the university of their choice. Established in 2010 by co-founder and CEO Edwin Tay, it has experienced a 9,564% growth since, assisted 13.1 million students globally and has 3 offices around the world (Malaysia, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia).
HarukaEdu was established in 2013 by a team of individuals with a lot of passion and experience in higher education. Its vision, one also shared by CEO Novistiar Rustandi, is “To provide a brighter future for Indonesians through quality, affordable, accessible, and sociable online education.” Its turn-key solution covers all key elements required to launch and manage successful online learning and degree programs, such as digital courseware and study materials, IT infrastructure, operations and efficient investment. It has partnered with more than 30 universities with more than 20 degree/master programs, and more than 70 courses partners. In 2018 HarukaEDU launched a portal named Pintaria.com as Indonesia’s first online/blended degree portals for working adults who want to find flexible and affordable degree programs, as well as finding upskilling training programs.
Indonesia’s SquLine provides online English, Mandarin and Japanese language learning by providing qualified teachers to help teach students. Headed by CEO Tomy Yunus, SquLine also caters online English lessons for kids and young executives keen to be fluent in English. It believes that superb teaching method from native teachers and good support are the best path to reach fluency. It also provides Mandarin teachers directly from Beijing to teach more advanced lessons as well as for the HSK Test that is an international standardized test for non-native speakers.
Founded in April 2014 by Adamas Belva Syah Devara and Muhammad Iman Usman, Indonesia’s Ruangguru is a startup company focusing on education. Ruangguru aids students to find various tutors online. It has thus far received 6 million users managed by more than 150,000 teachers who have taught in more than 100 educational subjects. It also has a subscription for educational videos, online test tryouts, private teacher service and many more. It has been recognised by various accredited parties such as the Australian government and Unicef.
Frontlearners, Inc. from the Philippines provides an effective and affordable eLearning service for primary, secondary, and tertiary schools. It facilitates the transfer of technology for the schools’ e-learning continuity and guarantees high-speed eLearning using its intranet-internet solution. This technology caters to all learners – from differently abled to gifted students, from mainstream to adult learners. Within 3 years, the startup has served over 150,000 students in more than 100 schools from far-flung to the metropolis areas. With 20 years experience in eLearning, founders Leo and Elaine de Velez (pic) aim to serve a million students in more than 1,000 schools by 2025.
This Singapore-based startup was started by two young entrepreneurs Stanley Chia Ding Li and Rohan Pasari and has grown to dominate the Singapore online college admissions. Its vision is to make college application management simple, efficient & accessible for students, parents and counsellors. It consists of a team of high school counsellors, independent education consultants and university admission officers with one vision—to make college application management simple, efficient & accessible for students, parents and counsellors. It operates in China and in smaller markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia and India.
Headquartered in Singapore and headed by CEO Will Yang Wei Min, VivaLing is an online language academy for kids that teach English, Mandarin, Spanish, French and German. The academy creates highly personalised lessons for the kids with a 20 minute meeting between parents and a language consultant to discuss the child’s need even before the first lesson and the freedom to select a coach. What sets VivaLing apart is its firm belief that language learning should start as early in childhood as possible due to children’s excellent language acquisition skills. Children as young as three years old are encouraged to sign up.
Founded in 2013 by Henry Motte Munoz, the Edukasyon Group (Edukasyon) is the leading education technology startup in the Philippines, which aims to empower Gen Z youth (age 13-23) to make better-informed education, career and life choices. Edukasyon operates Edukasyon.ph, a one-stop online platform that offers students tools, resources and content for free. It partners with hundreds of local and foreign institutions including schools, foundations and corporations. Edukasyon, which also operates the website FindUniversity, www.finduniversity.ph, reaches more than 10 million Filipino Gen Z students each year.