Chinaccelerator Batch 8 Edtech company Snapask raised $35 million in Series B

SOSV Chinaccelerator Batch 8 edtech startup Snapask, an on-demand tutoring app, announced recently that it has raised $35 million in Series B, led by Asia Partners and Intervest. Up to date, Snapask has raised over $50 million in total.

SOSV and its accelerator Chinaccelerator invested in and accelerated Snapask in 2016 through a 6-month accelerator program and continued to invest in the company. To fuel the growth of the company, the program has provided Snapask with capital support and global connections since then.

“Education today is focused on self learning and action in the classroom”, said William Bao Bean, General Partner at SOSV and MD Chinaccelerator MOX, “but sometimes students get hung up on a specific problem. Snapask gives students help when they get stuck while are studying on their own.”

Snapask was launched in 2015 in Hong Kong, targeting at student users aging 10-18, providing online one-to-one tutoring sessions that last about 20 minutes for each. Students take pictures about the questions they want to ask, and Snapask matches them with the most suitable teachers real-time through unique demand-supply matching system. The company also leverages AI to deliver personalized learning resources based on big data analysis. Snapask has also developed courses for premiere users, aiming at being a tutoring company that covers comprehensive products.

Timothy Yu believes that the tutoring market requires diversified products to meet the different customer demands. The one-to-one online answering mechanism will focus more on the “holistic experience” for students.“So we try not to use technology for every component in teaching, but to make it more efficient and scalable, and we’re creating a holistic experience to differentiate us”, said Yu.

There are currently 3 million registered users on Snapask, with an increase of 1.3 million registered users in the past 12 months. Now Snapask has established a strong market presence in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and is already successfully expanding in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and South Korea.

Southeast Asia is a strategically important market for Snapask, and the company is getting profitable there. The online tutoring market in SEA is relatively immature and there is no industry giant yet, which leaves more space for new players to enter. The cost of customer acquisition there is much cheaper than it in Japan and Korea. Moreover, Snapask is able to connect rural students with teaching tutors and quality education resources. Therefore, in a market with great potential, it’s not hard for the company to grow fast once it builds up an advantageous brand and scalable model.

The company’s revenue streams from membership subscription and study packages. In terms of the expense, the company mainly spends on paying salary to tutors. 50% of revenues from users will be given to tutors. Snapask only gains 20% net profit after cutting out the operation cost. Yu believes this will help attract and retain high-quality tutors on the platform. 100,000 people applied to be registered tutors last year, adding to 350,000 applicants in total.

Regarding the future plan, Yu said Snapask will expand into more markets in Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam, where there are high demands for tutoring and other education services. At the same time, the company will also open a regional headquarter in Singapore to serve a growing user community and focus on developing video content and analytics products for its platform.

Yu said that Snapask wouldn’t look for excessive growth unrealistically. The company will focus more on improving product, content and user experience, so that student users can compete and collaborate with their peers better. The outbreak of COVID-19 has also led to a recent surge of the user increase, which in fact shows the brand recognition and customer demands.

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