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On-demand tutoring app Snapask bags $35M to expand in Southeast Asia

Snapask

Hong Kong Edtech startup Snapask has closed its Series B round of funding, raising $35M led by Singapore-based Asia Partners and South Korea-based Intervest, and including participation from Taiwan-based Ondine Capital, an existing shareholder.

Until now, more than $50M has been pumped into the four-year-old company, supporting its operations across Asia, in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and South Korea, where it claimed to have served over three million students.

With this new funding, Snapask plans to expand into Vietnam, launch a regional headquarter in Singapore, and focus on markets in Southeast Asia where it sees growing demand for tutoring and other private education services. As it reaches more customers, another focus will be on developing data analytics products and video learning content.

“Snapask is a clear illustration of Asia Partners’ focus on solving the growth capital funding gap for tech companies in Southeast Asia,” Nick Nash, co-founder and managing partner of Asia Partners. “The company has already demonstrated a strong product market fit in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore and is already successfully expanding in emerging markets like Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.”

He added that the company is a great example of rhino, which he defines as a startup “focusing on sustainable growth with a clear path to profitability.”

Founded in 2015, Snapask entered the market with its app that matches students with questions to quality tutors for instant one-on-one learning sessions. Dubbed as the “Uber for tutoring,” the startup promotes a personalized, self-directed learning journey in which a student can upload a question or photo of their question to the app and connect in about 10 seconds with a tutor, who will then offer an answer within seconds.

Founder and CEO Timothy Yu believes that “self studying is the only effective learning approach in the future,” and he hopes students start direct their own learning by “asking why.”

Students can pay $108 (NT$3,290) per month to ask as many questions as possible, or they can pay every time they ask a question on the app.

The company has been expanding its offerings: it now delivers online courses covering topics of university entrance and industry-specific exams and provides AI-enabled learning progress tracking and analysis. In addition, it also runs after-school self-study space and offline classes in Hong Kong, Taipei, and Seoul, called Lab.

“Snapask is not only leveraging fragmented education resources,but also developing AI-enabled, low cost, tailor-made education,” said Randolph Hsu, founding partner of Ondine Capital.

The startup has established a strong market presence in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore in the past three years, where it said that 20- 60% of the student population aged between 10 to 17 have registered and experienced its tutoring service. In Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, it sees the number of users grow at a high speed.

Besides gaining traction in new markets, Snapask aims to collaborate with more schools and educational institutions to take advantage of the data it has been collecting from students like learning behaviors and obstacles, which will help not only students to learn better but teachers to teach better.

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Bryan Chou
Journalist & Global PR

Bryan Chou is a Taiwan-based and born journalist who writes about innovation and entrepreneurship for Business Next and Meet. Over the past five years, he has written for a student press, translated numerous magazine pieces, and worked as an intern in two startups. He believes what shapes him into who he is today is not only these experiences but the people he has interacted with and the stories he has learned from them.

He has a BA in Foreign languages and literatures from NTU. After graduation, he spent a year in Prague, traveling extensively around Europe to learn about the history and culture of the region from local people. Currently based in Taipei, he hopes to present the best of Taiwan to the world.