日前，日本招聘巨头Recruit以3900万美元收购了Quipper，至此，2015年亚洲的教育科技类公司的交易量持续增长。此次收购是一项战略性举措，使Recruit的教育水平直线上升，并扩大了其k – 12产品在全球的销售渠道。
Quipper，2010年在英国建立，它最初是通过Quipper Quiz手机移动端平台帮助初学者学习语言和数学的。随后，2014年，Quipper推出了Quipper School以及在线学习平台的k – 12，此平台的教学内容与政府认可课程同步。
2012年，Recruit因收购全球最大的工作招聘网站Indeed.com而闻名。Recruit一直对教育行业兴趣浓厚，它们也通过两个系统提供教育服务，一个是Benkyo Sapuri（课外辅导），另一个Juken Sapuri(高考辅导)为高考生提供学习辅导。
目前，Juken Sapuri以学习精要高质量数字点播的方式，及较低的月订阅费（平均每月10每月）赢得了市场，打破了原有100亿美元考试产业的垄断。此次收购为它们迅速扩张的k – 12的用户群和准备学生们后阶段的高考建立了联系。
Quipper 和Recruit 在教育服务领域有一个共同的理念，正如它们当前的策略一样，强调以低价格提供高质量的服务。Recruit知道如何发展技术并使Quipper的资本增值。Recruit战略突出，在过去的18个月里，它们仅在亚洲的员工就从2名增加到了60名。
数字化的缓慢应用不仅为创业公司提供了机会，也为非传统企业进入教育平台和空间提供了机会，正如马来西亚的企业巨头YTL集团。通过与国家教育部(MoE)的直接合作，YTL发展了Frog Education，一个虚拟学习平台 (VLE) ,为马来西亚10000多所学校提供教育服务。
与Edmodo还有 Frog Education一样，Quipper School 通过云平台来下发作业来简化老师的备课和评估工作，发挥了巨大的作用。
Edtech dealflow across Asia continues to increase in 2015 as edtech startup Quipper has just been acquired by Japan-based Recruit Holdings for US$39 million. The acquisition appears to be a strategic move that will enable Recruit’s education vertical to enhance and expand their K-12 products globally.
Founded in the UK in 2010, Quipper began with Quipper Quiz, a mobile-based quiz platform that helped learners to primarily study language and math subjects. The company then pivoted in 2014 with the launch of Quipper School, an online learning platform for the K-12 segment that features content aligned with government-approved curriculum.
Initially launched in the Philippines, Quipper School has since expanded to nine countries including Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico and now serves over 1.5 million students and 150,000 teachers.
Known for their acquisition of the world’s largest job recruitment website Indeed.com in 2012, Recruit has a strong interest in the education vertical as they also provide educational services through Benkyo Sapuri (Japanese for “study supplement”), and grade 12 university entrance exam test prep Juken Sapuri (Japanese for “entrance exam supplement”).
Juken Sapuri is currently disrupting the US$10 billion exam prep industry in Japan with quality digital on-demand content and low monthly subscription fees that are considerably cheaper than other test prep alternatives at an average cost of US$10 per month. The acquisition appears to be an attempt to provide a link between a rapidly expanding K-12 user base and their eventual need for university test prep at the later phase of secondary education.
“Recruit is famous for being a disrupter and innovator of business and has a lot of know-how on this edtech business domain as well. And above all, we share the same vision,” said Quipper’s CEO Masayuki Watanabe.
Quipper and Recruit appear to share a common approach in providing educational services as their current strategy is backed by an emphasis on relevant high-quality content at lower price points.
Recruit’s business development know-how and capital will add value to Quipper’s current capacity and strategy which has undergone a growth spurt of two employees to 60 in Asia alone over the past 18 months.
“As a startup, Quipper could be agile and make a lot of trials flexibly but there was a limit to it. With Recruit’s substantial and excellent business assets we can now surely accelerate our growth,” said Takuya Homma, Marketing Director at Quipper.
Similar education platforms such as US-based Edmodo have also raised considerable funding in recent years as the steady switch to educational digital content begins to gain more momentum. The education sector has lagged behind other sectors in digital adoption as the dominant publishers position themselves for a new era of learning and education itself becomes redefined.
The slow adoption to digital has provided opportunities for not only startups but also non-traditional players to enter the educational platform and content space as is the case with Malaysia’s corporate giant YTL Group. In direct cooperation with the national Ministry of Education (MoE) YTL has helped to develop Frog Education, a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that provides content and communication services to over 10,000 schools in Malaysia.
Similar to Edmodo and Frog Education, Quipper School creates value by minimising teacher preparation and grading time by providing them with an easy to use cloud platform to create and distribute homework online.
High student retention rates as a result of gamified elements, more detailed data and analysis for each student, and curriculum directly aligned with MoE standards for each country in addition to local teacher input for localisation and content relevancy has put Quipper in a strong position to engage new markets.
The author is the Co-founder and Managing Director of EdTech Asia, a consultancy, information and research hub that fosters a community of education and technology enthusiasts.