SINGAPORE - The pandemic was a testing time for KooBits Learning when its business-to-business (B2B) model took a hit from school closures and a drop in enrolment in private schools across South-east Asia.
But its chief executive officer and founder Stanley Han, 41, has scored a turnaround by pivoting its school product into a consumer one.
KooBits provides an artificial intelligence-enabled, personalised, gamification learning platform for mathematics. This allows children to learn anytime, anywhere and a new subject, science, was launched in January this year.
Mr Han said: "Having to pivot to a business-to-consumer (B2C) one in 2020 was a drastic move. We threw money into social media advertising without knowing anything, and the organisational transformation was a challenge."
"I managed to reach out and leverage on various talents to help grow the team and business. Our expansion led to more workers joining us, and during the pandemic, their pay was even increased as they had to take on various responsibilities as well," he added.
The new approach sees KooBits targeting parents who have taken on the additional role of being their children's teacher overnight, especially when schools were closed during the pandemic.
Within nine months, Koobits' B2C sales had overtaken its B2B sales.
The platform has also innovated and used artificial intelligence technology to translate and localise the educational concepts to accommodate international users.
In January last year, its school business also rebounded as more schools signed up to prepare for a new learning experience in a post-Covid-19 era.
Today, KooBits has more than 200,000 students from more than 50 countries using its platform.
On Tuesday (April 12), its achievements were noted by President Halimah Yacob who visited the KooBits Learning office at Keppel Bay Tower.
During the pandemic, she has visited small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to understand how they are adapting.
Madam Halimah noted how KooBits has innovated and leveraged on technology in order to pivot its business model and expand its customer base.
She said: "The platform is engaging and the content is comprehensive. Besides, the education technology sector is growing. The ability to continuously innovate and be creative allows firms to find new opportunities."
"KooBits shows that leveraging on technology allows firms to scale up their business operations, as they are not confined by physical constraints. The Government will continue to support SMEs to internationalise and innovate in order to diversify," she added.
Mr Han hopes to expand to even more countries, and said that the company is looking into launching new subjects as well.
"We hope to make KooBits one of Singapore's greatest exports, and I think Taiwan might be where we set up another office when we successfully expand ourselves," he added.