Softbank Ventures Korea announced yesterday that it had invested 1 billion won in the education-based social network service Classting.
Classting allows basic communication between teachers, students and parents while also providing various services such as access to class materials, notifications and private chatrooms for online parent-teacher meetings. Through the ‘Ting Service’ students can keep in contact with not only their classmates but can also exchange information with students from different areas, and even other countries. While social networks were becoming the next big thing, Founder Hyeon-gu Cho – who was was originally an elementary school teacher, developed the service after observing that even though other platforms like Facebook and Twitter were being used more in the education sector, teachers needed a separate online space to communicate with students.
Since launching an open beta version of Classting back in April, 50,000 “classes” have been created by approximately 5300 schools, and statistics show that users spend an average of 13 minutes using the service, with 96% logging in again within three days.
CEO Cho says, “While seeing that students only spent less then five minutes a week on school websites, I started developing Classting after I realized that teachers and students urgently needed such a service, as well as understand more about education. Through this investment we plan to expand our team to make a more complete service, while giving a boost to Korea’s education industry and doing our best to establish ourselves as a global social education platform.”
Softbank Ventures’ senior associate and overseer of the investment Ian Suh gave his thoughts on the deal, saying. “Recently there have been active efforts led by the governments in Korea, Japan and China to introduce smart education systems. It’s predicted that in the future new opportunities will arise in the e-learning market that are not just online, but are smartphone and mobile-based. It is because of this that we decided to invest in Classting which has passion, high quality developers and a good understanding about the education environment.”