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M’sian edutech startup bags US$1.5M funds 1 year after launch, to expand further in SEA

[Written in partnership with Supernewsroom, but the editorial team had full control over the content.]

Within one year of operations, online live training platform ReSkills has secured a US$1.5 million (about RM6.2 million) investment. 

Funded by a group of private angel investors, it was led by JSF Platinum to help boost ReSkills’ growth plans and stabilise its expansion in the SEA region. Currently, ReSkills is present in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, with plans to capture the Indian market in December.

“These are the developing countries in the region with a huge youth population size. They are hungry for learning growth to improve their skill sets,” ReSkills’ CEO Jin Tan (Jin) told Vulcan Post.

With the funds, Jin plans to enhance and further develop the edutech platform. The team will also focus on its marketing efforts to acquire more users and recruit more coaches.

A recap on the lesson

The site’s landing page

The last time we wrote about ReSkills, I was initially sceptical about the training platform; the courses offered were reminiscent of what I’ve seen offered by marketing gurus.

Jin was quick to mitigate my suspicions. He assured that ReSkills’ 100 coaches from around SEA are all handpicked and each has a minimum of 10 combined years of practice and experience training in their industries. As of now, they boast 169 coaches in total.

Furthermore, the platform was started as a way to help corporate trainers shift their content online. This decision was further vaidated by the realisation that youths were keen on upskilling, but didn’t know where to start.

Thus, ReSkills was founded as a live learning and training platform where seminars are conducted in real-time so students can interact with coaches as and when they have questions. Called OnLIVE, courses are available every day, and users are notified about upcoming classes two weeks in advance so that they can plan ahead.

“We want our learners to have significant and actionable takeaways from each session so they can use it to improve their lives immediately besides gaining the necessary micro-credentials from ReSkills,” he said.

The platform uses a subscription model that’s charged annually. When we last broke down the fees, we found that subscribers can expect to pay between RM1.70 or RM3.20 per day to access content and speak to industry experts.

“We firmly believe that education is a basic human right and should be accessible and affordable for everyone,” Jin stated. “These funds are a testament from the investment community that ReSkills can achieve that mission. With this pandemic, the online learning trend has matured into a new dimension as well.”

Today, the platform has managed to reskill and upskill 100,000 registered learners, boosting their professional and personal growth. 

But it took some testing moments

Such rapid expansion didn’t come without its challenges, especially in the midst of global lockdowns. In fact, Jin named travel restrictions as one of ReSkills’ biggest hurdles for his business. 

This was in addition to being unable to open a physical office and needing to localise the platform by adapting to various cultures. 

Sourcing for suitable country managers was the team’s first solution that would subsequently solve the localisation issue too. Each country manager would be tasked to help manage operations along with the hiring and recruitment of trainers. 

Despite the time-consuming process of hosting virtual meetings, they managed to find their managers through recommendations and job portals. To localise ReSkills in each country, the platform is embedded with multiple languages. 

As the pandemic gradually improved, Jin reported that ReSkills is now operating a physical HQ. The team is currently working with partners who already have a physical office while adapting to a more efficient remote working methodology—befitting a tech company, after all.

Growth catalysed by the pandemic

Screen grabs from the app

Lockdowns marked a huge opportunity for edutech growth all over the world. However, it also slowed down a lot of growth plans for many businesses. 

This wasn’t the case for ReSkills though, physical expansion aside. Leveraging the online learning boom, the training platform was able to grow faster digitally. Being a pandemic-born product, Jin believes that his training platform is suitable even in a post-pandemic world.

Hence, he’s set a goal for ReSkills to reach 100 million learners by 2025. The ambitious number itself surprised us, and doing some maths confirmed our assumption that ReSkills would have to hit explosive growth numbers each year to achieve that.

Based on this growth trajectory, ReSkills’ goal would be to hit about 2.5 million total users in the next 12 months. Confirming this calculation, Jin justified that the platform has been on track in hitting its user acquisition projections.

“Since a year ago (December 2020), we’ve had an ambitious aim to reach 100,000 registered users by the end of December 2021 (which we have). We have been targeting 1 million by June 2022, 5 million by December 2022, and 10 million by June 2023,” Jin explained.

“It is a challenging growth trajectory,” he acknowledged, but shared that it will be made possible with synergistic collaborations with strategic partners.

With the recent funding, the specific enhancements that users can expect on the platform include more exciting features to improve users’ experience, ensuring user stickiness.

In the backend, ReSkills is working to enlarge its cloud server and enhance its cybersecurity mechanisms. The team will also improve their big data management systems to understand user behaviour for AI analytics and build their own online learning video conferencing system.

  • You can learn more about ReSkills here.
  • Read our previous coverage of ReSkills here.

Featured Image Credit: The ReSkills team

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