EdTech in Indonesia - Leading Startups Improving Education

With the global educational system currently experiencing unprecedented changes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more countries like Indonesia are starting to reinforce their education technology. Edtech in Indonesia is growing rapidly, but faces several hurdles and constraints that need to be overcome. In this article we cover the state of education in the country, and the top edtech companies and startups in Indonesia working to improve all facets of the education sector.

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Over the past few decades, Indonesia has constantly been making progress in increasing its citizens' access to education. However, as shown on several reports submitted to the World Bank Group, their learning outcomes are still comparatively low (1). 

Thus, the Indonesian government began to focus on improving the edtech landscape in their county. Since 2018, there has been a rising trend for companies and startups to integrate technology into education.

The Current State of EdTech in Indonesia

Many NGOs described that Indonesia has an "untapped potential" for their current edtech scene. The majority of the main Indonesian edtech companies and startups are still engaging in a high level of market experimentation and face challenges when it comes to getting desirable results.

Based on several EdTech assessments, most companies and startups focus on the sector of junior and senior high schools, technical/vocational education, and professionals. Less than one-third of EdTech startups in Indonesia incorporate parents and teachers in their EdTech advocacies. This creates a gap in an otherwise holistic approach when it comes to education (2).

This also results in poor market penetration of EdTech in Indonesia. According to reports, the K12 segments of EdTech has a high growth potential; however, it's actualization to the Indonesian educational system remains low (3). The primary and pre-primary sector has yet to have a solid foundation of edtech widely used through startups and companies' support. 

Another challenge in Indonesia's EdTech sector is its low profitability and funding. Compared with other technology startups that generate high profits, the edtech sector is seen as less desirable.

These bottlenecks were assessed and identified further into two parts: the supply-side constraints and the demand-side constraints. 

Supply-Side Constraints of EdTech in Indonesia

  1. The difficulty of startups/companies in finding access to funding.
  2. High marginal costs when acquiring customers.
  3. Shortage of skilled employees to develop and maintain the product/service.

Demand-Side Constraints of EdTech in Indonesia

  1. Low willingness to pay for additional services to pursue technology integration in education.
  2. Lack of resources for education providers to be literate in technology.
  3. Poor and insufficient digital infrastructures.

But despite the identified bottlenecks, the general perception of Indonesia and its education sector towards an integration of technology is positive. Efforts to highly improve digital infrastructure to build an education that is digitally-literate are being made. 

With that said, many leading edtech startups and companies are already well-established in Indonesia that help provide improved education to citizens.

11 top edtech startups and companies in Indonesia:

1. Ruangguru

Ruangguru is a startup that provides the largest online tutoring application in Indonesia. With more than 22M users, they offer pre-recorded lectures as well as live discussions. Ruangguru is quite versatile in online tutoring platforms —from self-study guides to private tutoring and a free Distance Learning (PJJ) governance system for teachers.

2. DANAdidik

DANAdidik is one of the emerging EdTech startups/companies in Indonesia that tackles education funding. It's a Peer-to-Peer Lending platform that provides financial support for borrowers and attractive returns. 

DANAdidik has already funded 590 borrowers with IDR 6.5 billion funding disbursed. The company has also established a wide connection with campus and training institutions across Indonesia.

3. HarukaEdu

HarukaEdu offers services for universities and individuals to help incorporate technology into their educational plans. For universities and learning institutions, HarukaEdu has UniEDU, which is integrated support that offers universities E-learning-based courses.

The company also offers a lifelong learning platform for students containing lecture programs for online and blended courses. 

4. Pintek

Pintek is another educational loan service provider that distributes directly to universities and learning institutions. Their application process is simple and direct with the verification of the applicant's data and credit score. 

5. Circledoo

Circledoo is an online community that is centered on knowledge and experience-sharing. Technology in education calls for collaboration and peer-to-peer learning. With Circledoo, the company emphasizes education as a social practice, rather than in an individualistic approach. 

Using the platform, users can create a Circle on a certain topic and share their knowledge with others. It can be in an on-your-own learning experience or synchronous with other people.

6. Quintal

In providing true technological integration to learning institutions, Quintal offers their academic portal a wide selection of tools to Indonesian schools and universities to help manage both the academic and administrative parts of education.

These tools help teachers, parents, and students holistically monitor their learning status by providing a data-sharing and communication platform. 

7. Squline

Language is one of the key improvement areas of Indonesia when it comes to holistic education. Squline is an edtech company that started an online learning platform where they aim to reinvent the experience of learning a new language.

Instead of sticking to the books, Squline helps their students by directing them to the native speakers via one-on-one live video conferencing.

8. PT Zenius Education

Zenius is a well-established online platform that provides K-12 online courses. Subjects include Indonesian, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and English. The courses that are offered under Zenius are customized to the syllabus requirements indicated by the learning institution. 

9. Pahamify

Pahamify offers a very specific service that helps students through their college exam preparations. They offer practice questions, flashcards, and video-based lessons. One-on-one consultations are also available upon schedule.

10. Playable Kids

Making education fun for the kids, Playable Kids is a platform that offers online resources directed for early education. The platform offers videos, cartoons, and educational games targeting the subject of science.

11. SIKAD

SIKAD is a management system for schools that allows admin and academics to merge into a well-rounded platform. Their services allow clients to manage school finance, internal and external communication, teacher-student performance assessment, and more.