S’pore Startup Doyobi Raises US$1M

Launched in early 2020, Singapore-based startup Doyobi is raising the next generation of change makers.

Edtech has just announced a $ 1 million ($ 1.37 million) funding round led by 500 startups and Xoogler Angels.

In the course of Doyobi, children learn the basics of science and coding. Depending on their age group, children can learn to code in Scratch or Python.

The project-based curriculum helps educators teach planning and design thinking to learners, who prototype solutions to problems identified under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“One of my favorite quotes on teaching is’ Show the stars. Provide rockets, ”says John Tan, founder and CEO of Doyobi.

“Doyobi provides rockets so that teachers can focus on pointing the stars and helping learners get there.”

An education that cultivates individuality and initiative

Doyobi was founded to make children think bigger.

John, a father of five and an education industry veteran, founded Doyobi to address a gap he identified in mainstream education.

john tan CEO of doyobi
John Tan, Founder and CEO of Doyobi / Image Credit: BLLNR

The expectation (in our society) is to get good grades, go to a good college, get a good job (read: well paid). Complete stop.

But what if instead of becoming a lawyer, I want to rewrite the constitution? What if, instead of becoming a banker, I wanted to solve poverty? “

John Tan, Founder and CEO of Doyobi

According to John, Doyobi is a retaliation against the universal approach to education.

“In the age of artificial intelligence, it’s mind boggling that most teachers still have to spend most of their classroom time teaching the same content at the same pace to a class full of unique individuals.”

“Education – done right – can nurture curiosity, creativity and a growing mindset in children.”

Doyobi teaches Scratch and Python to young learners

An offshoot of Saturday Kids, Doyobi’s program is used in Code In The Community, the largest free coding program in Singapore supported by Google and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Doyobi enlisted Associate Professor Stella Christie, director of the Child Cognition Center at Tsinghua University, to achieve optimal learning outcomes.

Currently, the edtech startup offers two twenty-hour science and coding courses. Both courses are aligned with the K12 standards, the pedagogy taught in Singapore, US and UK.

Launched in August 2020, Science With Code teaches content aligned with the MOE curriculum with block programming

Learners develop codes for games or simulations that expand their understanding of real world problems. This includes issues like pollution and renewable energy.

In Doyobi’s Scratch and Python coding courses, learners as young as eight years old can learn to program in major coding languages.

coding class kids singapore
Image Credit: Saturday Kids

Content is delivered through an integrated learning platform. Quizzes, interactive videos and games are used to keep learners engaged.

The lessons are structured in a fun and engaging way to fuel curiosity, creativity and a growing mindset. While educators lead the lessons, students set their own pace.

Pandemic: an opportunity to reinvent education

The Covid-19 pandemic has opened up attitudes towards education.

“We saw early support from edtech companies like Udemy. But it’s different, ”says Kjailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups.

“Governments and parents are seeing how powerful alternative platforms like Doyobi can be.”

Doyobi Edtech Startup Coding Science Course
Image Credit: Doyobi

According to Holon IQ, funding for edtech startups has increased from $ 500 million in 2010 to $ 7 billion in 2019. An additional $ 87 billion is expected to be invested over the next 10 years.

Virginia Tan, the founding partner of Teja Ventures echoes the data.

“We believe edtech in Southeast Asia has reached an inflection point after Covid-19. (There is) a gap in the market in the K12 space for STEM and extracurricular learning.

Doyobi is global from day one and ultimately aims to create scalable education that can impact millions of learners.

“Human beings have the power within us to make a difference, to leave the world a better place than we have found it, but not enough of us think like that.

As Jaime Casap (longtime chief education evangelist at Google) puts it, ‘Why are we so low on’ college and career ‘?

We need to make problem solvers, inventors, change makers, policy makers, business owners create wealth. Getting a “job” should be our student’s backup plan. “

John Tan, Founder and CEO of Doyobi

Featured Image Credit: Doyobi

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