ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has 10 member states: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam with Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste as observers.
ASEAN ‘s population is now over 620m people (nearly 10% of the world’s population) with 210 million under the age of 30. If ASEAN was a nation state it would rank second in the value of foreign investment flows, third in mobile phone subscriptions, and is the world’s fifth-largest market for cars.
EdTech in Southeast Asia as the Solution
SEA has high internet penetration rates, and in 2019 alone, 97 million handsets were purchased in SEA, making the region fertile ground for the expansion and adoption of edtech. In addition, over the last five years, Southeast Asia managed to raise $480 million in venture capital funds for edtech startup investments.
Today, there are many edtech startups in SEA such as Topica, (Vietnam), Taamkru (Thailand), Ruangguru (Indonesia) and Classruum (Malaysia) that are hoping to breach the educational gap and increase the quality of education.
In particular, Topica, a Hanoi-based edtech startup aims to increase the talent pool by equipping young adults with the skills they need to thrive in a fast-paced working environment in the digital age. Topica has more than 3,000 e-learning courses, in topics such as social media marketing and computer programming, and has trained more than 6,000 students thus far.
Clearly, edtech in Southeast Asia is a burgeoning industry that promotes educational inclusion for many in need. Especially during COVID-19 where many schools have yet to reopen for fears of further spreading the virus, edtech is useful for providing millions of children in SEA with the opportunity to learn during national lockdowns.
Jakarta based Ruangguru has attracted over $150 million in investment, boasting more than 15 million users and working with more than 300,000 teachers who offer online courses in over 100 subjects. Singapore based Emeritus partners with global universities—including elite U.S. institutions like MIT and Columbia to offer digital courses to over 50,000 learners from 160 countries in finance, marketing, innovation and leadership. Topica, a
Hanoi based provider of online offerings from live English tutoring courses to full-on bachelor’s degree programs (through partnerships with existing universities) claims more than one million working adult learners have used the platform.
Southeast Asian companies involved in Language Learning, Learner Support, Work Upskilling, LMS/SIS, STEAM and Coding, Financing, Skills Verification, and more can be found amongst the 50 cited by HolonIQ below:
1 on 1 English Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 1 on 1 English is helping learners from ages six to 16 years old connect easily with native North American teachers in private, premium one on one English classes at home.
Bahaso.com Established in Indonesia in January 2015, Bahaso is helping people who want to learn foreign languages in a more effective, efficient, and flexible way. This includes a live teaching feature where users can get online guidance and social media features to support learning platforms.
Cakap Indonesia’s CAKAP enables people to upgrade their language skills from anywhere, at any time. They offer two-way learning interaction between students and professional teachers around the world.
Elsa has its regional office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Their vision is to enable everyone to speak foreign languages with full confidence, which helps to reach a better life and career opportunities.
Globish is a Thailand-based online English learning service with a dedicated English language school. It offers opportunities to learn English online with foreign teachers, live, 24 hours a day.
Kidtopi is an online English learning platform geared toward young learners in Vietnam. The platform is a venture from Topica Edtech Group, a venture-backed, growth-focused EdTech startup.
Singapore based LingoAce is a provider in online Chinese language learning platform fosix to 15 year old students. From mastering the basics to communicating fluently, their online methodology focuses on retention and speed learning in a familiar and structured classroom-style setting.
Squiline is an Indonesian provider of online language training, including creating white label course modules for companies.
Yola is an education group in Vietnam with the mission of changing lives through education. With 30,000+ students and blended online & offline programs for academic English and life skills, they believe in a future of Vietnamese young generations realizing their potentials and contributing back to our society.
Skills & Jobs
ArcLab is Singapore based, believing in training effectively with nano learning and upskilling workforce job performance through mobile learning. ArcLab believes in delivering bite-sized modules to staff with no app needed to remotely onboard and upskill workers.
Conicle was founded in 2014 in Thailand, providing businesses with an all-in-one learning solution to help upskilling and reskilling the workforce through its learning management system (LMS). Its technology takes a data-driven approach to learning, personalizing content to each user.
EngageRocket is headquartered in Singapore and offers cloud-based software that helps leaders and organizations make better people decisions using real-time data. Through cultural change, organizational transformation, mergers, and acquisitions, companies use EngageRocket to monitor and improve employee engagement and productivity.
Edukasyon.ph is based in the Philippines. The company provides students and fresh graduates with tools to connect them to schools, find scholarships, learn online, and match skills to courses and jobs.
FutureLab is headquartered in Malaysia, connecting mentees and mentors anywhere, anytime. Through FutureLab’s platform, mentors and mentees connect as they seek a path of personal growth and career advancements.
Glints is a Singapore-based career discovery and development platform. It’s aim is to be the #1 full-stack tech-enabled human resource and career development company in Southeast Asia.
Gnowbe with its regional office in Singapore is a microlearning platform, created to empower content creators, thought leaders, and trainers from organizations to scale experiential, participatory learning on mobile to develop real skills and change mindsets and behaviors.
Hacktiv8 is the leading coding boot camp in Jakarta, Indonesia, that turns absolute beginners into job-ready developers. Hactiv8 offers to transform beginners into full-stack developers in 12 weeks. They are working to alleviate the developer crunch in Jakarta with the emerging trend of tech companies and also significantly improve the standard of web developers in Indonesia.
Kyna.vn is an e-learning platform for adults offering online learning courses in Vietnam.
Maubelajarapa is an online marketplace platform that makes it easy for learners to find and register for vocational classes that have been created by teachers in Indonesia. Maubelajarapa has 1000 teachers, offering more than 1,000 workshops each year, and has served more than 70,000 learners so far.
SkillLane is a digital training platform in Thailand providing digital training, upskilling and reskilling to professionals with a library of over 400 courses in information technology, office productivity, soft skills, languages, and business skills that are accessible anywhere and anytime.
Vonder is a Thai EdTech startup aiming to make learning more fun and interactive. Vonder builds a game-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) where educators and HR managers can manage knowledge through chatbot, create real-time pulse survey, and generate microlearning games within a few minutes.
STEAM & Coding
CoderSchool is based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, driving frontier technologies in Vietnam through education. CoderSchool provides coding courses, mentorship and job placement.
Everest Education aims to transform education in Vietnam by personalizing learning and preparing students academically and mentally for international education. The startup helps students enter overseas education programs and succeed in international academic environments using technology and learning centers.
KooBits is Singapore-based, developing digital tools and platforms to help children learn better. Co-developed with top educators and experts in child development, KooBits learning contents are age-appropriate, relevant, and aligned to the latest education curriculum and syllabus.
Singapore based Joni.AI drives students towards mastery at their own pace with personalized learning and enables them to learn at their zone of proximal development. Their mobile‐first, interactive platform sparks the joy of learning with graduated mastery, personalized interactions, and social learning.
Morphoo is an Indonesia-based learning platform, offering a science-learning app for K-6 students, with an extensive library of 2D animated videos, 3D interactive, hands-on activities, and assessment quizzes.
Cialfo is a Singapore-based college application platform, making the process simple, straight-forward, and pleasant. Cialfo believes that everybody should have an equal opportunity to participate in the future.
Easyuni.com is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and has brought over 3,000 universities and colleges from over 20 countries onto one website, helping students and parents search, compare and connect with university counselors.
EMERITUS Institute of Management is Singapore based, offering online certificates and programs in collaboration with MIT Sloan, Columbia Business School, Columbia Engineering, Cambridge Judge Business School & Tuck at Dartmouth. Their teaching pedagogy focuses heavily on peer-to-peer learning and learning by doing.
GoKampus is an Indonesia-based platform providing integrated services for student campus life in one digitized ecosystem
HarukaEDU is an EdTech startup focusing on building a lifelong learning platform for Indonesians. Their team consists of professionals with various backgrounds and lots of passion for lifelong learning.
Topica Edtech Group is based in Hanoi, Vietnam, and cooperates with 16 universities including top-tier institutions in the USA, Philippines, and Vietnam to provide online degree programs. Topica Native provides online English speech tutoring courses in Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam, and launched an Augmented Reality app for speech tutoring.
Cicil is a financing platform to address the credit needs of university students in Indonesia.
ErudiFi is based in Indonesia and the Philippines, enabling access to equal opportunities through education. Their platforms include Bukas in the Philippines and Danacita in Indonesia.
Pintek is a financial technology company aiming to democratise access to education in Indonesia through affordable and flexible credit.
Accredify works with GovTech Singapore to promote the adoption of OpenCerts Schema. They are helping institutes issue tamper-proof digital certificates to help maintain their brand integrity and protect their students.
Singapore based Aversafe provides decentralized credential verification by connecting individuals, employers, universities, and credential issuers through a single, secure, self-sovereign identity platform designed to reduce risk in the hiring process.
Management & Learning Environments
Indonesia-based Codemi is a web-based Learning Management System (LMS) that enables companies to manage their online training programs for employees and partners to improve their skills.
Edusuite is based in the Philippines, using AI to analyze data and resources of colleges and universities so that school administrators, faculty, and students can optimize resources and make smart decisions.
Indonesia based GREDU is a social EdTech platform that aims to increase the level of engagement in a school environment to improve the overall schooling experience for teachers, parents, and students.
Quintal is an academic portal built to serve schools in Indonesia. Quintal integrated the Learning Management System and Student Information System to create a unified academic portal that is easy to use for administrators, teachers, students, and parents.
Teamie is a Singapore based cloud-based social platform that drives collaboration, improves educator productivity, and institutional performance.
Wizlearn Technologies (formerly ASKnLearn Pte Ltd) is based in Singapore and provides web-based e-learning solutions, content, and services for over 220 educational institutions internationally.
Learner Support, Tutoring, Test Prep
Colearn creates future-ready educational content for all students. Their mission is to make Indonesia competitive on a global stage through its young generation.
Manabie is based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and is Manabie is on a mission to provide a new style of online and offline merged learning around the world. Manable believes that their method of learning by integrating online and offline will dramatically innovate the way students learn.
OpenDurian is a Thailand-based online learning platform supporting students preparing for English language competency exams for job placement.
Pahamify offers supplementary education materials to help Indonesian students pass their college entrance exams. The startup combines science learning, filmmaking, and gamification to create high-quality educational content under its “Pahamiframework” method. The platform utilizes animated videos, quizzes, and summaries to engage users.
Ruangguru is based in Indonesia focusing on education-based services. Ruangguru has more than 15 million users, managing more than 300,000 teachers offering services in more than 100 subject areas, and has collaborated with 32 (out of 34) provincial governments and more than 326 municipal and district governments in Indonesia.
Zenius Education is based in Jakarta, Indonesia, producing e-learning content for K-12 students, which covers education materials from primary to secondary school as well as preparation for the national exam and university entrance test.
Kid gloves on: The majority of Indonesian edtech startups that raised money in 2020 cater to K12 students, or students from ages 5 to 18. However, startups targeting the vocational training and learning management system segments have also raised funds.
Untapped potential: The K12 segment is seeing a high rate of growth, but market penetration remains low. Additionally, edtech companies usually target junior to senior high school students, or those ages 12 and up, which means that the primary or pre-primary sector is an underserved market that businesses could explore.
The next big thing? As Indonesia’s economy digitizes, workers will have to upskill, making vocational training an exciting area for growth in edtech. Firms in the space could also go into the business-to-business segment by selling their products to schools.
Getting ahead–starting in preschool
When a child starts school, their love of learning can be diminished by large class sizes, lack of individual attention, and teaching styles contrary to their best learning style. With nearly one million interactive exercises designed by educational experts, children using Taamkru are set up for success and a love for learning before their first day in a classroom. Aimed at preschool children, Taamkru is involving parents in their child’s education and making learning fun. Based on a sample of 34,000 students, Taamkru reports a 26.8% improvement in scores after 15 days of app use. Taamkru translates to “ask the teacher” in Thai, setting a strong foundation that can be built upon once they are in the classroom.