It’s undeniable that the on-demand industry is a gold rush one, especially in the Silicon Valley. Apps such as Uber and GrabTaxi allows us to look for on-demand ride-sharing service around us; Yelp helps us to locate nearby restaurants and services; what about private tutors? How can we get in touch with a private tutor when we need them urgently?
Malaysia-based startup WeTeach is a platform that offers on-demand private tutor services using a mobile app and through their website. The startup is a labour of work for founders Ahmad Munawar and Mohd Adli’syam and recently they’ve received a funding of RM50,000 from the Cyberview Living Lab Programme by WatchTower and Friends Accelerator.
According to their Facebook page, WeTeach aims to be the biggest tutoring marketplace in Malaysia. Basically what WeTeach does it is that with just a few clicks of the mouse or a few taps on the mobile phone, users will be able to locate the nearest private tutor available within their neighbourhood.
Who Teaches In WeTeach?
The startup hasn’t been launched yet, but when I did some Googling, I managed to find out what kind of tutors are they looking for:
- Bring out the best in students, achieve better grades.
- Train students to develop good study habits.
- Be throughly prepared for each lessons.
- Work with students to find appropriate pathways to resolve difficulties.
- Provide advice and support to students in matters related to academic work and students’ personal development.
It seems that they are looking for tutors that care for a student’s academic performance, studying habits, and character.
Potential Challenges Ahead
The closest competitor that are doing the similar thing with WeTeach would be My Aone Learning, a platform that connects instructors from various industries to interested learners. In this case, WeTeach is solely focused on private tutors.
Malaysians are generally competitive. Our parents sign us up for tuition classes, or students themselves decided not to take part in certain school activities to attend tuition so they can score good grades to make their parents proud. Based on these characteristics, there’s certainly a demand for private tutors.
However, the industry is competitive, and most people still prefer to sign up for new tutor via word-of-mouth because they might find that to be more dependable. Other than that, the revenue model is one thing to consider. Would private tutors be willing to let WeTeach take a certain cut of its tutoring fee when they can just advertise their services on their own and receive full payment? One former part-time tutor shared that she was earning approximately RM50-100 per hour as a tutor, and this was without any form of advertising as she was operating purely based on word-of-mouth.
Perhaps one advantage is private tutors will appreciate knowing that students who want their services will be near their location so that they don’t have to travel far.
WeTeach’s efforts to create a better and easier way for students as well as tutors to match with each other based on their location is commendable. And in Malaysia especially, education is an industry that is in dire need of a face lift.
The challenge would be to attract tutors to use their platform and retain them so they don’t advertise their services via other means. This could be done by perhaps making the platform more interactive and beneficial for tutors with gamification and a rewards or points-based system.
Hopefully, WeTeach will do what it takes to ensure its success so that they won’t face the same consequences as this startup in the U.S. who was also doing tutor matchups.