Doyobi, a Singapore-based edtech startup focused on teachers, gets $2.8M seed

The edtech boom has focused primarily on students, but teachers are learners, too. Doyobi, a Singapore-based professional development platform, wants to give educators new, more engaging ways of teaching STEM subjects. The startup announced today it has raised $2.8 million in pre-Series A funding led by Monk’s Hill Ventures.

The round included Tres Monos Capital, Novus Paradigm Capital and XA Network, along with angel investors like Carousell chief executive officer Quek Siu Rui, Glints co-founders Oswald Yeo and Seah Ying Cong and Grab Financial Group head Reuben Lai.

The platform, which includes teacher training and interactive content for their students, is now used by about 2,000 teachers in more than 10 countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Two of its largest markets are Indonesia and the Philippines. Doyobi has partnerships with educational platforms Leap Surabaya, Coder Academy and private schools like HighScope Indonesia, Mutiara Harapan Islamic School and Stella Gracia School.

Doyobi was founded in 2020 as a spin-off from Saturday Kids, a STEM-focused educational program. Co-founder and CEO John Tan told TechCrunch that after operating for eight years, Saturday Kids was only reaching thousands of students a year, even though there are millions of kids around the world who need to learn STEM skills.

“There is a massive gap between what is being taught in schools and what children need to learn in order to be prepared for jobs of the future. Curiosity, imagination and empathy are just as important as literacy and numeracy skills,” he said. “Teachers play an outsize role in shaping learning outcomes, yet most edtech innovations take the teacher in the classroom completely out of the picture.”

Though many governments understand the importance of STEM skills for economic growth, many are struggling to incorporate them into their curriculums, he added. Doyobi wants to solve that problem by reaching students through their teachers.

In addition to developmental training for teachers that include live video lessons, the startup built its own virtual learning environment for educators to use with kids. It includes courses that link new skills to real-world uses, interactive media and Scratch coding projects to reinforce what students learn in class. Doyobi also runs an online community called Teachers As Humans where educators can find peer support.

The startup will use its new funding to create more courses for educators, along with teaching resources, like videos, quizzes and projects, for their students.