Here is our new weekly rundown of EdTech Startup News beyond funding, IPOs or mergers and acquisitions.
This week we cover EverFi’s partnership with NEA Foundation, ChineseCUBES usage of AR to teach Chinese, Brainly’s entrance into Asia, Cognoa’s iPhone app to detect autism, the launch of the Airbnb for Skills Avbl and Wello’s potential acquisition by Weight Watchers.
EverFi partners with NEA Foundation
EverFi, an edtech startup that aims to teach critical life skills through an adaptive learning platform announced a multi-year partnership with the National Education Association Foundation.
Through this partnership EverFi’s technology will be implemented in districts supported by the NEA Foundation over the next three years starting this spring.
Schools will get access to EverFi’s platform at no cost including EverFi’s courses in financial literacy, financing higher education, digital citizenship, STEM careers, health and wellness, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, African-American history, and EverFi’s new Summer Learning platform.
EverFi already reached and certified over 7 million students through partnerships with major corporations and foundations which enable EverFi to provide the programs at no cost to K-12 schools.
EverFi raised a total of $21 million from investors like Jeff Bezos, Evan Williams and Michael Chasen.
- EverFi Partners With National Education Association (NEA) Foundation | Press Release
ChineseCUBES teach Chinese using AR-coded Cubes and a Webcam
This is without any doubt one of the more innovative products in the language learning space. Created by Rex How, head of Taiwanese publishing house Locus Publishing, ChineseCUBES uses small cubes and augmented reality to teach Chinese.
Each cube features an AR marker that interacts with the ChineseCUBES software, the Chinese character / word and its translation. Through interacting with the cubes learners can build sentences, practice writing and pronunciation. ChineseCUBES claims that with 15 minutes a day over four months and using 40 cubes you can learn 2500 different words and phrases. The price tag: $149
- ChineseCubes Are Cubes That Teach You Chinese | TechCrunch
Homework Help Community Brainly enters Asia
Polish edtech startup Brainly enters Asia through located sites for for Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and India reports Tech in Asia. Brainly is a peer learning and homework help platform for high school students. It has attracted a global user base of 23 million, 1.5 million of which in Asia since the launch of the country-specific sites earlier this year.
Brainly plans to launch a total of seven sites for Asian markets and has currently 15 localized versions targeting 35 countries. The Thai and Indonesian sites are in the local language, the Philippine and Indian sites are in English.
We just recently covered Chinese peer learning / crowdsourced answer site Kualeixue which has raised $5 million for its mobile centered platform. According to Brainly 80% of questions posted on the platform get answered in under 10 minutes.
- Crowdsourced homework helper Brainly brings the answers to Asia | Tech in Asia
- HEDLINE: Kuailexue raises $5 million Series A | EDUKWEST
Cognoa launches iPhone app to detect Autism
With more and more children in the US being diagnosed with Autism, a recent study estimates 1 child in 68 has ASD, Cognoa aims to detect early signs of autism in a child’s behavior with an iPhone app.
The app evaluates the risk for developmental delay and autism for children before the age of 3 through asking parents a set of questions around behavioural tendencies and evaluating a five minute video taken of the child performing some tasks.
Cognoa’s app has been tested in several studies and showed 90% accuracy in its predictions of children between 13 months and three years of age.
- Cognoa’s App Will Evaluate Children’s Risk For Autism From Videos And Other Data | TechCrunch
- Infographic: Autism Rate Soars in CDC Study | NBC News
Avbl aims to become the Airbnb of the Gig Economy
Freelancing is the future of work, at least that is a popular thesis in the startup and technology space. Startups that build their offering based on this rising group of workers, 42 million in the US alone, tend to attract users and funding alike.
In order to bring more structure and planning dependability into the lives of freelancers, Ryan Hooks launched Avbl which he dubs as the Airbnb model for skillsearch. Based on location freelancers can search for open gigs but also use the service to find people to collaborate with on projects, something that is not really possible through the established freelancing sites out there.
“Airbnb has liberated apartments, and we can liberate people from their 9 to 5. We believe that most of us can freelance, most of us can Airbnb our place, most of us can take a day off to hang out with friends. That kind of shared economy is a visionary idea that is happening now.”
In the long run Hooks plans to create a search engine as good as Google but for skills he told Fast Company.
- This “Airbnb For Skills” Will Liberate You From Your 9 To 5 | Fast Company
Wello in acquisition talks with Weight Watchers
According to TechCrunch online fitness startup Wello is in acquisition talks with Weight Watchers. Wello started in 2012 as a 1:1 video chat platform that connected fitness trainers with clients. Since then Wello has added group sessions and a monthly subscription plan, similar to fitness training “in the real world”.
Wello aims to democratize the access to personal fitness trainers, a service that tends to be upscale and therefore not accessible to many regular people.
- Online Fitness Startup Wello To Be Acquired By Weight Watchers, Sources Say | TechCrunch