The future of learning — EdTech

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In the city where everyone stresses the importance of education, Hong Kong is an ideal place to test out EdTech ideas.

If you’ve grown up and received education in East Asia, you’d probably have “Working under pressure and still surviving perfectly well” listed on your resume. It’s safe to say that East Asia’s educational performance and pressure are ranked above other regions in the world.

By the numbers, total scores achieved by East Asian countries are higher than the average for the Programme for International Student Assessment. And that’s why we are the place to be for EdTech companies to start off their business. Here are the two Hong Kong-based startup that are trying to transform the way we learn using technology.

1. ShowMuse

Screenshot from http://www.showmuse.so/

Living in this epoch of rapid change and advancement is one exhilarating ride. But to keep up, you’ve got to adapt by developing a constant learning outside the classroom mentality.

That’s why ShowMuse was launched in 2015 as a mobile-based personalized learning platform, allowing young adults to learn, share and promote their passion. This comprehensive video tutorial app branches into an extensive series on self-improvement, family, and relationships, and knowledge related to food, beverages, health and sports.

ShowMuse was chosen from 50 applicants in the Incu-Tech program of HKSTP and Shenzhen’s QianHai e-Hub and became their incubatee. This startup was the first in many things — won first place in “The Award for New Media Entrepreneurship of China”, the PCM Best of I.T. Award — Best Startup. ShowMuse received HK$3 million (US$386,000)from HKSTP’s Corporate Venture Fund, becoming the first recipient of the Park’s pilot fund. ShowMuse completed its US$1 million pre-Series A round financing in February 2016, including the HK$3 million from CVF.

Screenshot from http://www.showmuse.so/

Not to mention, it’s a highly-valued O2O marketing platform for KOLs to promote their brand of expertise. Hong Kong model Jessica C’s french kissing tutorials (with the prop of an ice cream cone) has peaked the 190K view count. Watch out Youtube — you’ve got a competitor on the rise.

2. Snapask

Screenshot from https://snapask.co/en-hk/tutors

Founded in January 2015, Snapask has reached 17,000+ qualified tutors and 300,000+ students from across the Southeast Asian market including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. Their first pot of gold — US$1.8 million was invested in August 2015 by celebrity tutor Arthur Kho and SOSV.

Fast forward to June 2017, Snapask secured US$5 million in its Pre-Series A venture funding round led by Indonesia’s Kejora Ventures and participated by Welight Capital. This brings Snapask’s total funding to US$8 million, including the seed funding from Singapore Press Holdings and Plug & Play.

Now with the help from incubators including Cyberport Incubation Programme, Taiwan Startup Stadium, Chinaccelerator, SOW Asia Foundation, and SPH Plug & Play Accelerator, SnapAsk is steadily expanding into the education-driven Southeast Asian market. This means targeting the markets in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Screenshot from https://snapask.co/en-hk

Interested? Pay a monthly fee of HK$98, HK$368 or HK$ 588 to get your 10, 40 or an infinite number of questions answered. And tutors, expect to earn an extra HK$1000–2000 every month (or HK$10 per question).

One last thing — don’t forget to update your app because the new “Quizzes” feature is included. This platform allows virtual group discussions to be held so that tutors can analyze students’ performances utilizing the instant data they receive. Whereas students can access the digitized academic content for free.

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