Heaptalk, Jakarta — Aligning with the growth of digitalization today, everyone can now easily access educational content through an online EdTech platform. Zenius, in this case, presents a solution to an issue that many parents might worry about, which is expensive fees, by suggesting an affordable learning platform.
What distinguishes this startup from other competitors is delivering unique value propositions via OTT (over-the-top) technology at an affordable price. Its customers can access the contents through learning videos from their devices, both for school education and professionals (for example, materials required for fresh graduates to get their first job). It also gives them the ability to learn anywhere at any time.
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“As an ed-tech pioneer, Zenius’ learning ecosystem is geared for a varied audience. From elementary, junior, to senior high school students. We also serve professionals and the public”, said Sabda PS.
It is undeniably beneficial for users. It not only saves money, time, and effort, but the users can also pick a subject based on their preferences and enjoy all the learning videos wherever they are.
It is no surprise that at the beginning of 2021, Zenius reached a pre-series B funding round, followed by new investors, Alpha JWC Ventures and Openspace Ventures, who joined previous investors Northstar, Kinesys, and BeeNext.
Citing from Alpha JWC, the EdTech startups showed impressive metrics. As in 2020, their revenues increased over 70% in the second half of the year compared to the same period in 2019. They plan to use the new funds to develop their platform further to meet rapidly growing customer demand.
The early story
Before Zenius became a well-known EdTech platform, Sabda PS (Chief Education Officer), supported by Medy Suharta (currently becoming Commissary), began their journey with an offline tutoring center. They established Zenius in 2004 to provide educational services as preparation for students’ next-level studies, such as national exams and university entrance exams. The learning materials were distributed on CDs at the time.
Then, in 2010, Zenius created the first educational website that provided learning materials, Zenius.net. Thus, it is reasonable to say this platform is Indonesia’s EdTech pioneer.
Zenius then completed its first application in July 2019. All the learning materials and features have been relocated to the cloud, accessible on the Zenius App.
Zenius, with educational videos filling the app, reported that over 15.7 million unique users accessed its website and application during the 2019/2020 academic year. Additionally, the app was downloaded over 3 million times during the final three months of that year.
Zenius Current mission and feature
Sabda and his colleagues promote the Zenius value by promoting Indonesia as intelligent, bright, and cool. “Smart” supposedly means that Zenius can assist students in developing critical thinking skills despite memorizing the learning content. “Bright” points out Zenius’s aspiration to teach students the necessary core abilities to gain an open mindset and a broad perspective when confronted with various challenges. “Cool” refers to enjoyable learning activities that they believe should inspire everyone to be lifelong learners.
“We also have the vision to foster a motivation among society, particularly the youth, to study, to criticize everything, and never to stop learning even until they get old,” Sabda stated.
To support the mission, Zenius is focusing its efforts on strategic relationships. For example, they have cooperated with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology in the public sector to offer two programs concurrently: Internship and Certified Independent Study.
Zenius recently (per 2022) extended its relationship with the South Sulawesi Education Office. The relationship that began in 2020 seems to grow for another year. The agreement contains the scope of using Zenius’ services to improve the South Sulawesi Province’s education and learning system for students and teachers.
“In the future, we will work together with the national and local governments to ensure that we continue to have a beneficial influence on teachers and children across Indonesia,” Sabda stated.
What makes Zenius interesting is how they penetrate the market and position themselves as a SuperApp, containing features which include:
ZenCore: an adaptive learning feature that enables users of all ages to improve their three fundamental skills: mathematics, English, and verbal logic.
ZenBot: an artificial intelligence (AI) feature that assists students in completing any complex mathematics, physics, or chemistry activities. ZenBot’s approach consists of learning video resources that include uploaded assignment photos to help students improve their comprehension.
ZenPro: is a platform for learning and professional empowerment that can be used by varied ages of users, starting from high school graduates, fresh graduates, first jobbers to gain professionalism.
ZenRu: is a platform that accommodates the needs and activities of teachers in Indonesia.
ZeniusLand: a specific application for Elementary School designed to be interactive and fun.
Live Class: this feature allows students to choose what class they can join live—ranging from discussions about learning materials given at school to other specific necessary explanations.