[Written in partnership with MaGIC, but the editorial team had full control over the content.]
E-learning and edutech sites have been mushrooming over the pandemic, but back in 2018, you could say Malaysia lacked attractive options.
Noticing that there was no one-stop platform for education yet, Thinesh and Kavi decided to build two products simultaneously: an E-Tuition platform for students 7-17, and MindAppz, an online learning marketplace for university students, working professionals, or anyone else who wants to upskill.
Leading the company with their combined 15 years of experience in education and IT, the duo believes they still have what it takes to make their solutions stand out in a landscape that now has similar players like ReSkills, MyClaaz, and more.
Catering to various interests and learning styles
Taking a look at MindAppz, I would say it definitely covers a wider breadth of topics compared to other edutech sites in Malaysia. For example, you can find topics from the usual business and personal development ones to even music and nature.
While the homepage and category pages appear a little disorganised, there are at least filters to help you pinpoint a desired subject.
CEO Thinesh told Vulcan Post that he believes every student has their own unique learning needs, so MindAppz employs a differentiated learning methodology.
This means the marketplace offers subjects in the form of live classes, quizzes, interactive practice, video lessons, revision courses, and more, for a 360-degree approach to learning, which the filters can help narrow down.
“The advantage of integrating technology in education is that it not only enables one to take classes from the best teachers, but also personalises the way students learn,” Thinesh explained.
And MindAppz is prepared to offer exactly that to the best of its abilities, and he believes this is how it will continue to stand out from other edutech sites in the market.
Letting students judge the quality of their learning
Unlike other platforms, however, MindAppz takes a more hands-off approach when it comes to vetting its merchants.
Instead, students themselves decide how valuable a product (class, course, e-book, etc.) was for them through ratings and reviews, which other learners can make a decision based on.
Currently, the marketplace has almost 2,000 online educational products offered by merchants such as UiTM Press, UPSI Press, Drawzania, Prestasi Cemerlang, and more.
MindAppz doesn’t charge any onboarding or setup fees to them; it employs a 50-50 revenue sharing strategy for every successful transaction.
According to Thinesh, this ratio gives the merchant a higher return in profit compared to other marketing channels where they would only receive 20% of total sales revenue made through appointed publishers.
Approaching potential merchants was actually one of the biggest challenges for MindAppz in the early days as they had no branding or user base yet, Thinesh shared.
But since then, the brand has gotten recognised by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM), and Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), which has helped grow its credibility and trust amongst merchants.
And as its merchants grew, so did its userbase, and MindAppz today has about 180K registered users, 25K of whom are paying users.
In the past 6 months particularly, Thinesh noted that E-Tuition has seen great adoption, and believes this will be the continuing trend even post-pandemic.
Navigating an ever-growing, competitive landscape
To increase user acquisition, the team has obtained approval from the Ministry of Education to offer a free trial of E-Tuition for all primary and secondary students in Malaysia.
“We target urban parents seeking high quality and innovative delivery of content to their children, while making learning fun and contextual,” Thinesh concluded. This is in line with the brand’s plan for nationwide expansion.
I can’t speak for the quality of MindAppz’s offerings, but if the recognition it’s received from other Malaysian organisations is anything to go by, it’s had an impact on the learning landscape.
The Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) has also selected MindAppz to be part of its GAP Cohort 5, pushing it to the next stage of growth.
Over the course of 3 months, Thinesh said that they were able to learn valuable insights on planning and navigating their entrepreneurial journey.
More importantly, they were given more clarity on what they should be focusing on in order to better position their startup to attract potential investors.
As mentioned earlier, e-learning and edutech is now an extremely competitive platform, and for a site to stand out, it has to offer not just quality education but also innovative learning solutions.
If Thinesh and his team can enhance their offerings further and cater to the right market of parents, MindAppz should see consistent growth, and gaining visibility with the help of the government is a smart first move towards that.
Featured Image Credit: MindAppz