2021 Southeast Asia EdTech 50

HolonIQ’s annual list of the 50 most promising EdTech startups from Southeast Asia.

2021 SEA EdTech 50

The Southeast Asia EdTech 50 is HolonIQ's annual list of the 50 most promising EdTech startups from Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asia‘s population is over 650m people, 200m+ of whom are under the age of 30. While the region has prospered over the past two decades with a “manufacture for export” strategy, support for digital is now critical to Asia’s continued development and education is key to capacity building in the region. “We need to invest more in education and encourage the development of more valuable skill sets, critical thinking and life-long learning if we are to succeed in this new (digital) economy,” notes ASEAN.

Startups are categorized by their main focus. Categories in the market map are not mutually exclusive. 

2021 EdTech Badges (1)

Most Promising EdTech 50

Using the HolonIQ platform, our Intelligence Unit team and market experts selected these 50 digital education companies out of 2000+ EdTech startups from Southeast Asia, based on HolonIQ’s scoring fingerprint that includes capital, team, market, product and momentum.

Direct-to-Consumer majority; One quarter B2B.

Over half of this year’s cohort operate in a direct-to-consumer model, as individual consumers (both parents and adult learners) increasingly look for learning solutions and direct support, with teams such as CoLearn (Indonesia) delivering online tutoring solutions and Doyobi (Singapore) offering a STEM and coding classes. Additionally, financing platforms such as Cicil (Indonesia) and mentoring solution, FutureLab (Malaysia) also operate predominately in the direct-to-consumer market.  However, just over a quarter of the group operate a B2B model, which is a high proportion compared with many other regions of the world and speaks to the increasing importance of digital for corporations and institutions. Learning environments, whether for K12, Higher Education or workforce are in strong demand and teams such as ArcLab and Teamie (Singapore) are offering solutions, along with those like Noodle Factory (Singapore) and HarukaEdu (Indonesia) which are supporting institutions in their digital journey.

Startups with a foothold prior to COVID see traction.

Almost half of the startups in this year’s cohort are between 4-6 year’s old, having had the opportunity to gain a foothold in the market prior to COVID and then seeing significant market demand through the pandemic. Those in the growth stage include tech upskilling solutions – Binar Academy (Indonesia), Hacktiv8 (Indonesia) and CoderSchool (Vietnam) and Language Learning startups including Bahaso (Indonesia), LingoAce (Vietnam) & Edupia (Vietnam). Newer teams who are partnering with universities and corporates to support their digital objectives include Skills Union (founded 2020, Singapore) and Akadasia (founded 2019, Singapore), while Koobits, XSeed, Topica and Zenius are examples of startups in the 10+ years category who continue to show growth in the region and more widely.

Singapore and Indonesia over two-thirds.

Singapore and Indonesia make up two thirds of the cohort, with Singapore based EdTech startups typically servicing the whole Southeast Asia region. Both these markets have strong policy and funding support for education innovation as a foundation for EdTech activity and traction. Vietnam is an emerging ecosystem and we expect to see more demand from the market and solutions entering in the next few years.

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Track the 2021 Cohort

HolonIQ customers can track the 50 most promising EdTech startups from Southeast Asia on the intelligence platform. Look for the 2021 Southeast Asia EdTech 50 list in the Lists tab of the Organizations page. Request a Demo if you are not a customer and would like to learn more.

Criteria & Methodology

The Southeast Asia EdTech 50 is focused on identifying young, fast growing and innovative learning and up-skilling start-ups working in the region. To be eligible, startups are generally less than 10 years old (though there are some exceptions), are either headquartered in the region, or predominately focused on this market (e.g. > 80% revenue/customers, are pre exit (not acquired or listed) and not a subsidiary of a larger company or controlled by an investor group (e.g. via private equity buyout or controlling investment).

Where is this data coming from?

HolonIQ is the world's leading impact intelligence platform. We support governments, institutions, firms and investors, with data insights to power decisions that matter. If you are not already a client, request a demo to learn more about our platform.
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Related Research

2021 Southeast Asia EdTech 50

1 December 2021. 

HolonIQ’s annual list of the 50 most promising EdTech startups from Southeast Asia.

2021 Southeast Asia Digital Health 50

12 November 2021. 

HolonIQ’s inaugural list of the 50 most promising Digital Health startups from Southeast Asia.

2021 Southeast Asia Climate Tech 50

25 October 2021. 

HolonIQ’s inaugural list of the 50 most promising Climate Tech startups from Southeast Asia.

2020 Southeast Asia EdTech 50. Where are they now?

20 September 2021. 

How are Southeast Asia’s Top 50 EdTech Startups of 2020 performing and where are they now?