Earlier this week Softbank Ventures announced an investment of 1.5 billion won in education technology solution startup KnowRe.
KnowRe’s co-founders are a group of brilliant minded mathematicians from Seoul National University, KAIST and POSTECH that previously operated a popular math academy in Seoul and also wrote the bestseller “Find the Eye of Math”. In the first quarter of 2013, CEO Yongjae Kim plans to replace the way mathematics is studied with KnowRe’s innovative tools and content created from his many years of experience in the field.
As the digital environment continues to change, areas such as games and social commerce are receiving attention as new markets. However, development of the education market — worth over $7 trillion worldwide, is still stagnant and KnowRe plans to hit the US as its first target market. The company gained significant confidence following a positive response to a trial of its product at the US National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference last year.
Math as a subject is learned better through the process of solving problems than through listening to lectures. When students observe the problem solving process, it can act as an accurate explanation for parts previously not understood and this is why math has traditionally been a subject learnt “offline”, often through private tutoring. KnowRe’s service is receiving attention for its digital education solutions which take into account the nature of studying math by offering real-time analysis of students’ answers and providing relevant explanations. CEO Yongjae Kim commented on the investment.
“The demand for digital education worldwide is increasing at an explosive rate. Just as sales of ebooks have surpassed paperback sales in the US, there is a high possibility that the focus will shift to innovation of digital content for the education industry also. As KnowRe develops its digital math education in domestic and overseas markets, we look forward to the support that the investment from Softbank Ventures will provide.”
KnowRe has already made an impression at several conferences last year and received the top prize for Google’s Global K-Startup Competition 2012 as well as the VentureBeat Award and Plug & Play Tech Center Award at the BeLAUNCH conference. Originally founded in March last year, the company’s headquarters are located in the US and also operates an R&D center in Korea. KnowRe will be taking part at VentureSquare’s ‘Open Recruiting Day‘ on January 25 as it looks to take on more talented individuals.