Indonesian edtech startup CoLearn has raised $10 million Series A funding led by Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI) and US-based edtech investor GSV Ventures. Existing investors, including Sequoia Capital India’s Surge and AC Ventures, also participated in the round.
This round of funding has made CoLearn one of the most well-funded edtech startups in Indonesia. The fund-raise, in less than six months of its previous rounds, is the US-based fund’s first investment in Indonesia.
This fresh infusion of capital will help the company invest in product, technology, development, hiring, and marketing.
Abhay Saboo, Co-Founder and CEO, CoLearn, said: “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 globalised world is what really drives us all at CoLearn.”
Launched in August 2020, CoLearn has scaled to reach more than 3.5 million students. The company claimed students ask more than five million questions per month, and get answers through CoLearn’s AI platform.
“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,” Abhay said.
The startup’s AI powered problem-solving feature removes the friction associated with offline tutoring centres by allowing students to receive instant, high-quality homework support. It provides step-by-step video solutions created by the best tutors in the country to help students overcome anxiety associated with difficult subjects, such as math, by assisting with conceptual mastery.
The company said it remained heavily focused on teacher training programmes to improve the quality of education. It expects to have more than 200 trained teachers over the next two years to effectively supplement students’ learning from school, particularly in STEM education
“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,” said Anirudh Singh, Managing Director, AWI.
The company stated that Indonesia has historically lagged its Asian neighbours in education investment and innovation. Before COVID-19, students largely relied on offline tutoring centres for supplemental instruction given the limited online alternatives.
However, the country is at an inflection point as increased internet and smartphone penetration coupled with school closures have allowed for the rapid adoption of edtech solutions.
CoLearn has also built a strong technology team in India and the UAE, and is actively looking to double its team size by the year-end with a focus on recruiting for data science, product, and engineering roles.
“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,” said Deborah Quazzo, Managing Partner, GSV Ventures.