Launched in August 2020, Indonesia-based EdTech CoLearn recently lifted a $10 million Series A funding, piloted by U.S. Investor GSV Ventures and Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI). Existing investors, like A.C. Ventures and Sequoia Capital India's Surge, also participated in this funding.
This round of funding has made CoLearn the first U.S. based fund's edtech investment in Indonesia. The fund has been raised in lower than six months of its earlier rounds.
The Indonesian startup CoLearn started as a chain of physical tutoring centres and was in the process to make a shift to a hybrid offline-online model when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe. However, with the sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the team sensed that remote learning would perpetually change how students want to be tutored and decided to focus completely on its app. Since then, CoLearn has been downloaded over 3.5 million times and has approximately one million active users, mainly in grades 7-12.
CoLearn's app offers over 250,000 pre-recorded videos with additional homework support. The platform provides step-by-step video solutions by tutors that serve as a hook to convince both students (or their parents) to enrol in CoLearn's online courses. Additionally, CoLearn says students ask more than five million questions per month and get answers through CoLearn's AI-powered problem-solving platform.
The Cofounder and CEO, Abhay Saboo, say, "Despite having the world's fourth-largest education ecosystem with 50 million students, three million teachers, and half a million schools, the quality of education in Indonesia has remained much below its real potential for several decades. The scope for motivating students and ensuring they can thrive in a globalized world is what drives us all at CoLearn."
He also adds, "Many Indonesians are yet to see good education as a means to improve the country's economic power. Parents here, in particular, have not connected those dots. Things are now slowly changing, and our mission is to accelerate this by improving the quality of education."
Furthermore, CoLearn, which already has its technology teams in India. It is looking forward to doubling its employee count by the end of the year, focusing on recruiting for data science, product, and engineering roles across India, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Also, the company states, it remained heavily focused on teacher training programs to advance the quality of education and expects to have more than 200 trained teachers over the next two years to effectively supplement students' learning from school, particularly in STEM education.
Anirudh Singh, Managing Director, AWI, expressing his enthusiasm for partnering with CoLearn said, "We are immensely excited to partner with CoLearn in its mission to disrupt the education market in Indonesia. As one of the largest markets globally, the demand for high-quality tutoring solutions at a competitive price point is huge. We believe CoLearn's stellar team is successfully implementing the online learning playbook we see in other parts of the world to gain market leadership in Indonesia."
The Inflection Level
According to CoLearn, Indonesia has historically lagged behind its Asian neighbours in investing in training and innovation. Prior to COVID-19, college students relied heavily on offline tutoring centres for additional education due to limited online options. However, at present, the country is at an inflexible level as the high penetration of the web and smartphones coupled with the closure of colleges have enabled the rapid adoption of edtech.
"GSV is thrilled to be backing CoLearn's compelling co-founders as they look to bring high-quality instruction at scale to Indonesia's youth. The opportunity to build efficacious learning solutions is vast. The greatest businesses are created when entrepreneurs tackle large, important problems, and CoLearn is doing just that," states Deborah Quazzo, Managing Partner, GSV Ventures.
Up until now, CoLearn has received three rounds of funding. In January and December 2020, CoLearn collected funds for the Seed Series, respectively. As of 2020, 9 investors have invested in CoLearn. GSV Ventures and Alpha Wave Incubation are the most recent investors.