Headquarters: Makati City, Philippines
Vertical: K-12, Higher Education, Career
Tech: Web App
Introduce your startup and give a short description of what you are doing.
Edukasyon.ph is an EdTech Social Enterprise which believes that every student has the right to a quality, affordable education that leads to employment. Through a two-sided online platform that brings students and universities together, it helps students create their Education to Career pathway – providing them with choice, advice and convenience in making their decisions. Meanwhile, it provides universities with access, efficiency and convenience in acquiring students.
Who are the founders, how did you meet, what are your different roles in the startup.
Henry Motte-Muñoz, Founder. Prior to founding Edukasyon, Henry also co-founded an anti-corruption NGO (Bantay.ph) and worked in finance with Goldman Sachs and Bain Capital in London. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the London School of Economics. At Edukasyon, his focus is on developing a sustainable, scalable business model and managing private sector relations.
Lites Viloria, CEO. Prior to Edukasyon, Lites worked for 7 years in the Department of Labor and Employment in the Philippines, where she focused on solving youth unemployment. She is a graduate of De La Salle University and Ateneo. At Edukasyon, her focus is on day-to-day team management and managing government relations.
How was the idea for your startup born?
Henry was inspired to found Edukasyon.ph after providing university advice in 2012 to his cousin, who was about to graduate from high school. When asked about his plans if he was not admitted to the top 3 universities, Henry’s cousin gave only a blank stare – helpless at finding the proper resources to guide his education and career decision. Henry realized that his cousin was not alone: 1.4 million students graduate from high school annually – the vast majority of whom lack the power of choice and guidance to make their education and career decision. Moreover, only 900,000 of these students successfully get into university. Passionate about solving these problems, Henry developed a business plan for Edukasyon.ph at Harvard Business School, with a vision for creating a one-stop shop online resource to help create students’ Education to Career pathway – whether they have university or technical-vocational aspirations.
What is the main problem in education that you aim to solve.
We are solving high youth unemployment and student dropout rates in the Philippines. Of 1.4 million high school graduates every year, 500,000 will never go to university because they cannot afford it. Of the 900,000 who attend university, 300,000 will drop out because they picked the wrong course or can’t afford to continue. Of the 600,000 who graduate, 40% or more are considered unemployable by employers because they lack technical and soft skills, or because they graduated into industries with massive labor oversupply. We believe every Filipino student deserves a quality, affordable education that leads to employment.
In which markets / regions are you active. What markets / regions are next.
Our first market is the Philippines, where these problems in education are at a critical level. Over time, we plan to expand to ASEAN, EMEA and other markets globally facing the same problem.
Who is your target audience.
We target students and parents from socio-economic classes A,B, and C. Among students, our focus is on those in Grade 10 to 12, as well as in tertiary education (Undergrad, Masters, PhD).
How many users / downloads does your service have?
We currently have 11,900 registered users and over 10,000 unique visitors per month, with traffic growing rapidly month-on-month.
Who are your main competitors? What sets you apart from them?
We have created the first complete database of senior high schools, colleges, tech-voc schools, and scholarships in the history of the country. We have achieved this by working with the different government agencies (Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. Our goal is to make this relevant information easy to navigate and use by any student.
Our main competitors (Klaseko, Applica, Finduniversity) are primarily sites that have built a database of schools. Unlike Edukasyon, these sites only offer limited services (e.g., database search and online payment functions). They do not offer a full host of advice and career counseling services. Furthermore, their databases are significantly smaller – our next-largest competitor has a database that is 1/4 the size of Edukasyon’s.
How do you engage with your target audience. How do you convert them into users of your product.
We use digital marketing, especially social media, to promote our site and engage our target audience. We also establish partnerships with various critical education stakeholders – schools, government agencies, employers, etc. to promote our platform and the services we offer (for example, online application and payment processing for schools). Through these digital and physical channels, we sign up students and schools to our platform, requiring them to become registered users of the site to avail of our services.
What is your business model. How much does your product / service cost.
We are a B2B2C company. Our platform primarily provides three things: choice, advice, and convenience.
We provide choice to students by having built the most complete higher education database in Philippine history, with 50,000 college courses ranging from low-cost, short courses in provincial technical colleges to 4-year private education in Manila. Students can filter courses based on location, duration, cost and entry requirements. We also offer the most comprehensive database of scholarships (over 3,000), to reduce affordability constraints for both incoming and existing college students.
We provide advice to students through our proprietary content on universities and careers. This content, prepared with the help of stakeholders in industry, academia, and government, includes valuable information, such as starting salaries by industry and current and projected demand for graduates.
If you raised funding, how much did you raise. Who are your investors. If not, are you planning to raise funding.
We have begun fundraising in Q2/Q3 2016 for a funding round of $700,000.
Are there milestones you are especially proud of and would like to share.
In June, we formalized a partnership with the Commission on Higher Education, as their sole partner to manage online applications for 140 institutions. In July, we expect to hit ~100 paying universities – representing growth of over 3x in the span of 5 months since our site re-launch.
What are the next steps in growing your startup.
In 2016, we plan to release a mobile app for our platform, as well as continue improving our current products and building premium functionalities. In 2017, we plan to develop university rankings, pursue the online and executive education sectors, and begin expansion into ASEAN.