Asia Digest: Ruangguru, Zenius offer free courses; SparkLabs Taipei picks 8 startups

Image from Ruangguru's website.

Indonesian ed-tech startups Zenius and Ruangguru are offering free online learning programmes to students amid the novel Covid-19 outbreak. In a separate development, Taiwan-based accelerator SparkLabs had held its third demo day, selecting as many as eight startups.

Indonesian ed-tech startups offer free courses

In the wake of the novel Covid-19 outbreak, Indonesian ed-tech startups Ruangguru and Zenius are offering free online learning programmes to their students.

Ruangguru has launched Free Ruangguru Online School, through which it is offering long-distance learning via live teaching sessions on its app.

Going forward, the company is set to provide 15 live teaching channels, as well as exercises and try-outs, covering all lessons in the national curriculum from elementary to secondary high school level.

Zenius, meanwhile, has been offering free access to its e-learning platform for the last few months and says it will continue giving free access to 80,000 learning videos that span across Zenius’ platforms.

As of March 2020, Zenius claims to have more than 80,000 learning videos for grade 1 elementary through grade 12, as well as exercises and learning materials. All of these learning materials can be accessed free of charge under the #SemuaBisaZenius programme.

Several local governments (Pemda) in Indonesia have decided to cease all schooling activities temporarily, starting this week. Moreover, the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) also plans to postpone the national examination.

SparkLabs Taipei selects 8 startups

SparkLabs Taipei has selected as many as eight startups for its third cohort on its demo day held on March 11, according to a statement.

The startups who were selected include coffee maker iDrip, Cocomelody that offers an omnichannel retail experience for bridal shopping and PenguinSmart that provides rehab therapy. Others who made it to the list are Terminal 1, MoBagel, FunTek, JustKitchen and VAR LIVE.

The third batch of SparkLabs Taipei’s startups focuses on providing solutions across various industries, from telemedicine to commercial AI to IoT.

“SparkLabs Taipei is committed to identifying top early-stage startups in Taiwan and Asia. Of the 18 startups that we have invested in, we are the first institutional investors in 9 of the teams. There is a lack of early-stage funding in Taiwan’s VC scene, and we want to fill that gap,” Edgar Chiu, SparkLabs Taipei’s managing partner said in a statement.

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.