Dave Cho, CEO of Classting, an SNS service for educators and students, announced that the service has secured a total investment of 3.5 billion KRW ($3.17 million) in December 2014. Of the total investments, 3 billion KRW comes from Partners Investment and 0.1 billion was raised through individual Series B investors.
Classting, first launched in March of 2012 as the nation’s first educational SNS service, aims to correct limitations in the South Korean educational system. In South Korea, the average class size hovers around 34 students, according to an OECD survey in 2012. Because of the high student to teacher ratio, close interactions between students and teachers can often be limited. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Cho, a former elementary school teacher, came up with the idea of Classting after facing reluctance from his students when trying to connect with them via Facebook and Twitter.
Classting thus embraces smartphone use as an essential part of education. The SNS service provides a platform on which students, teachers, and parents can communicate with one another. The app essentially bridges the school and the home. Individual schools can register to appear on the app to send alerts or notifications to parents and students. Teachers can also create their own classroom pages, on which they can post homework assignments. Students can then freely upload their responses on the page. Currently, Classting boasts a user base of more than 100,000 teachers, and 1 million parents and students in over 80% of South Korean schools.
Classting has enjoyed a strong start in the edutech industry. In 2012, the educational social media service was chosen as one of the top 29 startups in a competition sponsored by Google and the Korean government. In 2014, Classting was selected as one of six projects by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, receiving funding for R&D and product development. Last year, the service also collaborated with UCLA’s National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing in conducting research on educational systems.
In recent years, Classting has focused on providing a personalized educational experience. The service aims to use student activity data on the platform to provide a personally tailored educational experience for each student. For example, teachers can recommend video tutorials to a student who is having trouble learning the basics of coding.
In a press release, Cho stated that “South Korea’s passion for education and IT infrastructure makes for the optimal environment to develop edutech services. Classting has the potential to become an educational service that leads the world.”
Kang Dong Min, who was in charge of the investment at Partners Investment, agreed, stating that “Classting can achieve various educational missions by providing a way to manage students, provide programming education and individualized education.”
-Inspired by Platum