One-line solution summary
KooBits is the "Netflix" for education. We put the world's best K12 educational content in every child's pocket.
Pitch your solution
KooBits provides a digital learning platform that helps children learn in a fun and effective way that a child can access anytime, anywhere, at their own pace. KooBits leverages technology to turn traits of good teachers, good schools and best learning communities into its product features.
We bring the best-of-class education content to children. We make high-quality education content at an affordable cost. Our content is creative and interesting. It is scripted in the language of children and designed to maximize learning outcomes. Our content is localized, adapting to each country’s education standards.
We adopt world-class teaching pedagogies and productize these best practices into permanent platform features that can be provided to all children at any time and place, in a scalable way.
We put children at the center of learning. We design experiences that are personalized and adaptive to each child’s unique needs. We address the needs of holistic learning to increase motivation and enhance metacognition skills so that we can instill a passion for learning in our children and cultivate a habit for lifelong learning.
Technology, data and innovation enables our platform to deliver content, pedagogy and engagement. KooBits is designed for the digital native generation - we teach kids the way they want to learn. KooBits uses innovative technology and data science to deliver personalized learning, real-time feedback, and continuous assessment at global scale.
Our mission is to inspire, educate and motivate children to become independent learners and problem-solvers of the future.
Film your elevator pitch.
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?
Strengthen delivery of STEM and 21st century skills for learners to effectively build work readiness
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Singapore
Is your solution working in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and/or Malaysia?
What specific problem are you solving in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and/or Malaysia?
KooBits solution increases equitable access to quality learning opportunities, improves literacy and numeracy, and strengthens delivery of STEM, while supporting a diverse range of learning pace and styles.
At KooBits, we solve 4 key problems with regards to K12 educational content: content distribution, content production, content localization and content delivery.
Content distribution: Today, the best K12 educational content does not "move freely". Most educational content is in print books, distributed through physical bookstores. Distribution costs can be high for many parts of South East Asia. Our solution makes content accessible via mobile and web.
Content production: content digitization solutions are available, but the existing process is slow and costly especially for multimedia content like video and HTML5 animation. We managed to reduce the unit production cost by 90%, and speed up the unit production cycle drastically through the use of our proprietary technologies and processes.
Content localization: language is a huge barrier for educational content to move from one country to the next. This is especially true for South East Asia considering its diverse languages and cultures. Existing solutions take years to fully localize just one set of primary textbooks. Our technology enables us to reduce that into a 3-month localization process from English to any non-English language.
Content delivery: the education delivery today is bottlenecked at teachers' time and availability. Our solution "productizes" the traits of good teachers into scalable software features, so that children can consume and digest content effectively and independently.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
Our key target groups are children between 5 to 14 years old.
To these children, today’s education outcome is largely an uncontrollable experience. Even for a child who comes from a good family, good education outcome requires good school (location constraint), good teachers (gatekeeper constraint), and good peers (community constraint). It’s a "lottery ticket" to a certain extent.
What make it worse is that each family got to “throw the dice” only once for each child to win the “education lottery”, and the outcome won’t be known for years to come.
Our work at KooBits is to reduce this "randomness" by leveraging innovative technologies to bring comprehensive education content, world-class teaching pedagogies, and engaging user experience to every child, no matter where the child comes from. With the proliferation of digital devices, we see an opportunity to achieve just that.
Today's education model decouples content and delivery, scalability and personalization. On one hand, textbooks and print books are very scalable but not personalized and not interactive, on the other hand, teachers can provide very interactive and personalized services but teachers' time is not scalable and teacher training cannot be done overnight.
Our solution addresses the gap by using the power of technology to decode "good education". By decoding "good teachers", "good peers", and "good schools", we are able to turn these good traits into platform features and use it to deliver high quality educational content and teaching at scale to any child in the world.
How does the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge?
The Octava Social Innovation Challenge is seeking accessible and affordable EdTech solutions focused on underserved K-12 learners that utilize evidence-based educational content informed by the science of learning and are aligned with curriculum outcomes.
We believe this is exactly aligned with what the team at KooBits is trying to achieve. Our solution aims to make quality education affordable, scalable and accessible by solving specific problems involved in the production, localization and delivery of K12 educational content.
What is your solution’s stage of development?Scale: A sustainable project or enterprise working in several contexts, communities or countries that is looking to scale significantly, focusing on increased efficiency
Who is the Team Lead for your solution?
Stanley Han Xiaoyan
Founder, CEO of KooBits Learning Pte Ltd
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new application of an existing technology
What makes your solution innovative?
Our approach to solve the challenge is to leverage on innovative technologies to turn traits of the top teachers, good schools and best learning communities into online scalable platform features.
On the front-end application, we use several technologies to make the content delivery interactive and personalized to each child, based on the child's age, school, country, and mastery level. We built software features to help children build independent learning skills and develop daily learning routines. We also bring users together online to encourage collaborative learning.
On the back-end, we have developed several technological tools to make sure syllabus used for each child is aligned with each country's MOE standard. This is achieved with a real-time dynamic allocation of curriculum and syllabus based on each child's unique set of information. Even within the same country, we are able to assign differentiated curriculums to different segments of students. For example, in Singapore, we have low-progressing students using a Foundation Math curriculum, and the standard-track students using a Standard Math curriculum. Our solution is able to dynamically cater for the different needs of different groups of students.
Our back-end solution also speed up the localization process of educational content. Through our localization engine, we are able to localize all our English-based content (including but not limited to syllabus, video, image labels, question bank, games, storybooks) into different language within 3 months. So far, we have localized our content into Bahasa Indonesian language and Traditional Chinese language.
Have you tested your solution’s approach? If so, how?
Yes. Since our launch of the first version in 2015, we are trusted by hundreds of schools, mostly from South East Asia, with proven results. Over 200,000 monthly active students from 50 countries learn, practice and play on KooBits platform. We strive to scale our expertise using technology and create a global community of learners.
Describe the core technology that powers your solution.
Our solution features both front-end/customer-facing technologies, as well as back-end technologies.
Our Front-end technologies:
Gamification and behavior-shaping:
We create technologies to help children form good learning habits, and develop their metacognition skills. We build reward and achievement system that can be sustainable in long-run.
Personalized and adaptive learning:
Every child is unique. KooBits adapts learning for each child’s ability, interest, pace, strengths and weaknesses. Personalized learning helps KooBits create unique, effective, and engaging learning experiences for each child.
Real-time instant feedback:
KooBits automatically detects mistakes and offers detailed step-by-step solutions with interactive models and diagrams, instead of just the final answer. Mistakes are never penalized so students feel supported in trying again to find the solution.
Diagnostic assessment and performance tracking:
KooBits identifies individual knowledge gaps and knowledge decays, and supports children to close these gaps. It also provides visibility on learning progress to students, teachers and parents.
Learn any time, anywhere
Different from traditional modes of education, KooBits delivers education content through technology in a bite-sized manner anytime, anywhere.
Our Back-end technologies:
KooBits Syllabus builder:
Our syllabus builder allows us to create new syllabus on the fly, and assign differentiated syllabus to different group of students.
KooBits Localization Engine:
Our localization engine manages our content localization process, shrinking from a manual, labor-intensive process to an automated, highly efficient process.
What is your theory of change?
At KooBits, we believe teacher's role and influence is paramount. However, teacher's time and attention is limited.
Given today's teacher-to-student ratio, we estimate that the world needs 20 to 30 million full-time teachers in order to educate all the children and download the knowledge from one generation to the next.
In order to maintain the education quality in the current system, we need to train millions of teachers to the same quality and ensure they deliver education with equal consistency and accuracy. This is very challenging. Therefore, access to quality education is going to remain limited and unevenly distributed across the region if we only rely on teacher to shoulder the burden of teaching.
If we can successfully "productize" the traits of good teachers into consistent software features and couple them with high quality educational content, I would imagine many children can pick up the knowledge through a self-directed initiative just like how they would get self-educated on how to play those popular (sometimes very challenging) mobile games.
At KooBits, we believe our work helps transform education system to a more sustainable future where learning outcome of a child does not depends solely on his or her environment (family, schools) and teacher's time and attention.
We believe that every child can learn effectively, independently and passionately given the right environment and guidance. Now, more than ever, it is important for learning to go beyond the traditional classroom barrier, a blended form of learning, to enable kids to learn effectively at school and at home.
Which target population(s) does your solution address?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
What are the key characteristics of your target population?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
Which categories best describe your main EdTech product or service?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?
We measure our progress by 3 key metrics: progress made along our product vision, our user engagement, and our reach.
Our product vision is to put the best of education in every child's pocket. We have a clear product roadmap to build world-class content through innovative production technologies, cover multiple core subjects, localize and break language barriers, and create wonderful user experience so that children fall in love with learning.
User engagement is the market's feedback towards the platform we built. We constantly keep track and improve the user engagement so that a child can find purpose and joy in learning, achieve mastery of skills and be able to apply his or her knowledge and skills in real-world problem-solving.
Lastly, another key metrics is our reach. To be considered as achieving our goal, our platform needs to impact at last 100 million children worldwide. Having an innovative product is not enough, finding innovative solution to distribute it to a large audience is just as important.
What are your impact goals for the next year, the next three years, and the next five years? How will you achieve them?
We started with a single Math subject, and use it as an opportunity to sharpen our technologies and focused all our resources on a single point of attack to the problem we are trying to solve.
In 3 years, we want to further stretch our lead in this domain and become the "King of Math" and the de facto choice for parents in the South East Asia region.
Recently we have began the work for Science subject. The speed of development is going to be a lot of faster than the time we took to develop Math, because we have developed our technologies to be subject-independent from day one. In 3 to 5 years, we want to become the best children platform for learning STEM subjects, impacting at least 10 million children.
In long term, KooBits’ vision is to become the most compelling education company of the 21st century by delivering quality education at scale and making every child fall in love with learning.
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your impact goals?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
Describe these barriers as they relate to your solution. How do you plan to overcome them?
We believe we have solved many challenges from product level and proved that children are benefiting tremendously from the KooBits platform.
The next big challenge is how to transform the team from a startup to a mature organization. This involves overcoming many barriers related to organization building - such as acquiring talents, building proper legal, finance and HR processes, and managing large teams across markets and countries.
Please provide a brief history of your organization. What was the motivation behind starting your organization and/or the development of your solution?
Our Founding and the KooBits Journey
“What I hope to achieve through KooBits platform is to democratize top schools’ education and help children all over the world gain opportunities to lead a successful life by excelling in education, achieving mastery and self-confidence. Through KooBits, we want to provide all children a meaningful learning experience, feed their curiosity, develop their critical thinking skills and enrich their lives beyond the classroom.” - Founder and CEO, Stanley Han
Stanley is a beneficiary of good education opportunities and scholarships, thus a strong believer of education being an agent of change. Stanley firmly believes in the power of self-directed and independent learning given his background. Stanley is an engineer and game designer by training, who
wants to build things and create value, and use his skills to give the same education opportunity to children around the world, to deliver high-quality education at scale. The startup journey is tough, but it’s all worth it because of our mission.
2007 - Stanley co-founded KooBits while completing his degree in electrical and computer engineering at the National University of Singapore
2008 - Developed an interactive English e-books to help children improve their writing skills
2014 - Started offering online maths program, KooBits Math, to primary schools in Singapore and the region
2018 - Completed Series A funding
2020 - Launched direct to consumer offering for families
2021 - Launched Premium Plan with KooClass. Completed pre-Series B funding
What type of organization is your solution team?
For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models
How many people work on your solution team?
As of submission date, we have 70 full-time staff and 23 part-time contractors and freelancers.
How long have you been working on your solution?
How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
KooBits is now built by technologists, educators, innovators, dreamers, parents and passionate life-long learners, leveraging years of experience, research and innovative technologies. We constantly listen and work with our customers - teachers, educators, parents and kids - on a daily basis to continuously improve our product and education content. We are inspired by the potential impact on the world and the opportunity to improve learning quality for millions of children.
Provide an example of your Team Lead’s ability to conceptualize and implement a new idea.
Stanley Han is our founder, as well as the Chief Product Manager of the company.
The typical process of conceptualizing any new product ideas begins with asking a lot of "Why"s and using first-principle approach to investigate and arrive at the problem statements.
Stanley believes that most products fail because the creator doesn't have a good answer of what problems the product is truly solving. And most people do not know how to find and define their own problems.
Stanley failed many times in his early days of building new products and trying to solve phantom problems. For example, the first major product designed by Stanley is a children e-book authoring tool. The technology is cool and features are fanciful. However, the problem statement is far from clear. Is this tool trying to make children more creative? Why do you consider children not creative? And what are the reasons for it? A lot of things can make children creative, and they don't need to write an ebook to be creative. So exactly what problem are you trying to solve with an ebook authoring tool?
The hardest question is usually the "why" question. Why do we do what we do? And it is not a one-time effort trying to answer it, but a continuous process of constantly challenging your own assumptions on a daily basis.
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
As a content and software developer, our natural partners are device partners and distributors.
Device partners need content and software tools to make their device more useful. So if there are opportunities, we will bundle with device partners to go to market together.
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?
Please explain in more detail here.
Connecting with talents
Connecting with investors
Look for distribution partners
Getting local help for setting up operations in different countries
Mr Stanley Han Founder, CEO, KooBits Learning Pte Ltd