The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a boom in homeschooling. At the same time, it has accelerated the development of online learning platforms around the world. According to the “2020 Asia-Pacific Independent Learning White Paper” published by the online self-learning startup Snapask, COVID-19 has changed the way we learn in many countries. The number of Snapask users has increased exponentially in Asia-Pacific (APAC), especially in Korea (275%) and Japan (173%). According to the “2021 White Paper” published by Taiwan’s biggest online education platform Hahow, in 2020, its number of users increased by 60%, its revenue doubled to reach 270 million NTD, and traffic to its online platforms grew by 150%.
Taiwanese online learning startups Hahow, VoiceTube and Snapask flourish during Pandemic
In mid-May, the number of COVID cases spiked in Taiwan. Concurrently, traffic for Hahow’s enterprise-level courses “Hahow for Business” grew by 200%, while the average time spent on these courses more than doubled. The online English-learning platform VoiceTube reported that the number of web version users grew 75% month-over-month, while the number of new registrations on Snapask grew 35% month-over-month. All this goes to show that education has moved online after schools closed. Students are eagerly looking for learning resources on the internet to educate and improve themselves.
Hahow, VoiceTube, and Snapask are three online learning platforms that are participating in “EduStartup 20+”, a startup accelerator program cocreated by Taiwan’s National Development Council and CommonWealth Parenting, the most influential education brand in the Chinese-speaking world. All three companies are pursuing a proactive market strategy that will expand their presence in the APAC region. For example, Hahow is targeting Chinese-speaking users in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. By developing suitable intellectual property for lecturers, Hahow seeks to optimize its user experience by promoting content overseas and attracting international traffic. By providing educational content for free in smaller packages, VoiceTube has so far been able to secure 300,000 new user registrations in Japan. Beginning this month, VoiceTube will offer paid content in Japan featuring advanced educational functions and courses. As for Snapask, it is mainly focusing on markets in Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia. It will introduce online video courses based on the local curriculums and provide afterschool learning programs for middle-schoolers.
The National Development Council has devoted a lot of effort to helping Taiwanese startups compete on the world stage. Besides introducing Taiwan’s national startup brand “Startup Island Taiwan” and the “Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan”, the current plan to “Accelerate Taiwan’s Education Startups on the World Stage” has provided resources for companies qualified for the “EduStartup 20+” program for two consecutive years. In the future, the National Development Council will continue to help these companies connect with the global market, establish a presence overseas, and broaden the international influence of Taiwan’s startup brands.