Hong Kong-based startup Snapask has picked up US$5 million in pre-series A funding to expand its business to new markets, including Indonesia. The funding was announced in Jakarta last week.
The app makes it easy for students to ask homework-related questions and have them solved within minutes. It’s a bit like Uber for home tutoring – except that the whole process happens online.
You snap a picture of any problem and ask for help. A qualified tutor then responds with both an answer and an explanation – so that you understand how to solve similar problems in the future.
The app now has 300,000 registered users and around 17,000 tutors ready to answer questions, founder Timothy Yu told Tech in Asia. It’s available in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia, and plans to enter Indonesia in the coming months.
Of Indonesia’s more than 250 million people, roughly 53 million are of school age (7 to 18 years old), according to government data (PDF). That’s a sizeable market. On top of that, Indonesian students notoriously rank low in international comparative studies like PISA, which means demand for additional tutoring to help fill gaps of the regular school system could be high.
Help from Kejora
Indonesia’s Kejora Ventures, which participated in Snapask’s recent funding round, said it will help the startup get off the ground in the archipelago. It will assist with staff recruitment and build ties with schools and government agencies.
In Indonesia, Snapask will face local competitor Ruangguru. The edtech platform connects students and tutors for offline lessons, but has also launched an online classroom feature which lets users send in problems.
Ruangguru also sports a mock test where you can gauge your performance in the national exam and other standardized tests.
Snapask has raised a total of US$8 million in funding so far, the company said in its press release. Other investors in the most recent round include Welight Capital and Meitu founder Cai Wensheng. Singapore Press Holdings and accelerator Plug and Play contributed at the seed stage.
Ruangguru raised venture capital in 2015 and this year received a grant from GSMA. Neither amount was disclosed. It’s focusing on the Indonesian market, while Snapask is eying expansion across Southeast Asia, Australia, and the UK.
This article first appeared in Indonesian, written by Aditya Hadi Pratama. Information was translated and edited for this version.
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