Singapore-based EduSpaze has revealed the seven startups that will form its second cohort, which will attend a 100-day fully-virtual program. The companies that fall into the categories K-12, higher education, and corporate learning, are Indonesian non-formal education Binar Academy, online data upskilling platform Eskwelabs from the Philippines, the Singaporean startups Inknoe, SG Primary, Edufied, and Noodle Factory, as well as Vietnamese English learning app Schola.
All participants receive up to SGD 500,000 (USD 376,360) along with mentorship and support for pilot project implementations with schools and other local partners in Southeast Asia, as well as Japan and Australia. They will also present their products at a virtual demo day on May 5.
Alex Ng, EduSpaze’s managing director, said that the program will focus on product evaluation in this batch. “We are doubling down efforts to measure the effectiveness of edtech products when it comes to improved learning outcomes and other positive impact metrics,” he said in a statement. Education Alliance Finland (EAF), a specialist in pedagogical design and scientifically-backed quality evaluations, will continue to support the program.
Launched in November 2019, EduSpaze is managed by seed capital firm and startup incubator Spaze Ventures with support from development agency Enterprise Singapore. Early last year, eight startups from EduSpaze’s first cohort were able to raise additional funding and seven out of eight teams were successful in product testing, selling and scaling across Southeast Asia.
Preparing for a dynamic market
Throughout last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in rapid acceleration of edtech adoption. According to global education intelligence firm HolonIQ’s report on global edtech venture capital, investment in 2020 was 32 times higher compared to 2010. Asia, which is greatly dominated by China, took almost two thirds of all global edtech investments. As internet connectivity and infrastructure continue to improve in the region, Asia is predicted to see further increase of funding.
Founding managing partner of Insignia Ventures Partners, Yinglan Tan, told KrASIA that lockdowns and government incentives have forced students and learning institutions to use more edtech platforms. But he also believes that competition will become tighter and companies need to come up with innovations to increase the stickiness of users on their platforms.
“It will be important for these edtech platforms to be sensitive to where their users are coming from and build retention with them, either by diversifying the selection of content to meet their needs or by introducing adjacent services that create an experience these users can’t find anywhere else,” he said.