Doyobi, a Singapore-based edtech startup providing science and coding courses for kids, announced it has raised $1 million in its pre-seed funding round to help kids become innovators and changemakers.
The round was led by 500 Startups and XA (formerly known as “Xoogler Angels”), with participation from Hustle Fund, Teja Ventures, and a number of entrepreneur-turned-angel investors, including Roger Egan (Redmart), Firas Alsuwaigh (Ninja Van), Sanjay Shivkumar (Caarly), Tu Ngo (Yola) and Masashi Takahashi (Voyagin), according to a press release provided by the company.
Launched in early 2020 as a spin-off from Saturday Kids, Singapore’s first coding school for kids, Doyobi enables educators to teach science and coding in a fun and interactive way. Its guided courses integrate videos, quizzes, and projects to make teaching easy. Doyobi’s courses are used in programs supported by Google and the Singapore government, as well as by educators from different parts of the world.
Doyobi aims to help kids grow into original thinkers and develop a sense of purpose. Its programs are designed to nurture curiosity, creativity and a growth mindset. Doyobi’s pedagogy is built on helping learners develop attitudes and mindsets they would need to thrive beyond 2030, build coding and science fundamentals aligned to K12 standards, learn to use planning and design thinking to create prototype solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
Speaking about the company and its mission, John Tan, Founder and CEO of Doyobi, said,
“In the age of artificial intelligence, it’s mind-boggling that most teachers are still expected to spend most of their time in the classroom teaching the same content at the same pace to a class full of unique individuals. Education – done right – can nurture curiosity, creativity and a growth mindset in kids. Education can help kids develop the holistic skills, attitudes and mindsets that will make them adaptable and resourceful adults. Education can create awareness of and inspire action towards the UN SDGs. We want to impact kids at scale, and we recognize that the most efficient way to do this is to work with and not against the system. With Doyobi’s blended instruction and self-paced learning structure, teachers can focus their energies on supporting learners and helping them achieve their learning goals.”
Doyobi’s founding team came from Saturday Kids and is led by John Tan, an Obama Foundation Leader and prolific angel investor.
Commenting on the funding, Khailee Ng, Managing Partner at 500 Startups, said in a statement,
“VCs have been looking at edtech in a big way even pre-Covid. We’ve seen tremendous success backing edtech companies like Udemy early on as well. But this is different. Asia has seen landmark deals in edtech pre-Covid, Asian parents spend more on their children’s education than sometimes even food – but Covid-19 is an accelerator of this – governments and parents see how powerful alternative platforms like Doyobi can be. We’re grateful Doyobi chose us to be one of their partners to provide scalable education solutions for our children’s generation.”
Doyobi said governments and schools all over the world have long known they need to rethink education and do things differently, even pre-Covid. It claimed there’s strong interest for its content because governments, educators and parents recognize that its products go beyond science and coding education.
Lauding Doyobi’s efforts in preparing kids for unpredictable future, Ashnil Dixit of XA said,
“The world is changing incredibly fast and that the skills being taught in schools today will be out of date by the time our kids graduate. By unlocking our kids’ creativity and curiosity, Doyobi is giving them the tools to navigate this exciting but unpredictable future. Doyobi’s ability to deliver fun, interactive and individualized learning experiences sets it apart and we at XA are really excited to partner with them on this mission.”
In August 2020, Doyobi rolled out its Science with Code course combining MOE syllabus-aligned science content with block-based programming to inspire curious minds and make science meaningful and relatable.
Doyobi is global from day one, with pilot partners in Brazil, India, United States, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. The company hopes to impact millions of lives with quality education that is progressive, engaging and scalable. The team has helped thousands of students learn better at Saturday Kids, funded startups like Padlet and Beanstalk, and become Obama Foundation Leaders to amplify the impact of their work.