由以色列的教育新創創業孵化器 MindCET 帶領,一同與歐盟的教育新創孵化器 Open Education Challenge 和 EdTech UK 聯合創立。每年都會在倫敦舉行決選的全球教育科技新創大獎(Global EdTech Startup Awards,下稱GESA),是現今世界上最大的教育科技(EdTech)新創競賽。

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(Image credit: EduLab )

提供 Clear 共享筆記 APP 的日本教育新創公司 Arcterus,於 2017 年 12 月的日本初賽中奪得冠軍後,又在上周於倫敦一舉奪得第 4 屆 GESA 的全球冠軍。Arcterus 是第一間贏得首獎的亞洲教育新創公司,而來自肯亞的學習管理平台 M-Shule 與幫助學生親身挑戰企業實時工作形式的印度 MentorMind,則分別拿到了第二與第三名。

今年的 GESA 收到了來自 70 多個國家與地區,超過 2000 份的報名表,最終選出包含 Arcterus 在內的 18 支隊伍進入全球決選。本次大會的評審委員則是來自 8 個國家的教育科技風險投資公司,以及教育相關組織。我相當驚訝最終是由日本的新創贏得首獎,因為亞洲國家在教育科技領域相對沒那麼強勢。除了導師計畫和商業支持外,獲獎的 Arcterus 還會得到著重於海外發展和公共關係拓展等相關資源。

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(Image credit: EduLab )

Clear 筆記共享已受到許多包含日本、台灣、泰國等亞洲學生的歡迎,因為在面對競爭激烈的升學考試時,亞洲學生之間存在同儕互助的學習文化。此次贏得西方教育科技大獎,更奠定了 Clear 立足亞洲、展望歐美市場的基礎。Arcterus 的創辦人暨 CEO 新井豪一郎認為透過 GESA 能一窺 Clear 是否也有滿足英、法、俄等國的學生需求,並在市調過後判斷是否要進入這些市場。

自四年前發行以來,Clear 已經在亞洲累積超過 160 萬次下載,光是在日本就已經突破 120 萬,大概每兩個日本中學生就有一個人在使用 Clear。此外,Clear 也有在泰國、台灣、中國、印尼、馬來西亞等國家上架,並計畫明年在巴西、印度、越南等國開始提供服務。

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(Image credit: EduLab )

除了 Clear 之外,Arcterus 尚有其它服務內容。Caiz 是一個幫助家教個別指導班的適性學習工具,而志樹學院則是位於東京的個別指導補習班。近期該公司則與日本領導連鎖補習班Yoyogi Seminar Education Research Institute的研發部門共同提供 ClearS,以協助教育機構的優化教學流程。Arcterus 於 2015 年 7 月完成由 Startia 領投的1.3 億日圓(約美金105萬),並在 2016 年 B 輪募資中獲得由朝日學生新聞社(Asahi Gakusei Shimbun)及 Z 會(Z-kai)的 1.1 億日圓(約美金 100 萬)。

 原文出處:The Bridge - Japan’s Arcterus wins Global EdTech Startup Awards with study notes organizer app Clear

The Global EdTech Startup Awards (GESA) is the world’s largest pitch completion focused on EdTech startups whose global finals event annually take place in London. Led by Israeli EdTech startup incubator MindCET, the initiative was jointly founded by European Union’s EdTech incubator Open Education Challenge and EdTech UK.

Tokyo-based Arcterus, the Japanese startup behind study notes organizer app Clear, won the Japanese regional preliminary in December, and then won the 4th GESA world finals in London last week. The Arcterus team won the awards for the first time as a Japanese startup followed by the runner-up, Kenya’s mobile learning management platform M-Shule, and the 3rd place winner, India’s MentorMind, which helps students work on real-time work situations in the form of challenges put forth by companies.

This year’s GESA has received 2,000 applications from more than 70 countries and regions around the world. 18 teams including Arcterus were chosen as global finalists this year while many of the judges came from EdTech-focused VC firms and other education-related organizations in eight countries. I’m so impressed that a Japanese startup won the competition where Asian teams had a less strong presence. As winner awards from the competition organizer, Arcterus will receive support for their global expansion efforts in the educational ecosystem plus for public relations, in addition to mentorship and business assistance opportunities.

The Clear app has been especially attracting users in Asian markets including Japan where classmates and friends have a culture of teaching and helping each others while their entrance exams are fiercely competitive. Winning at the Western community-based competition in Europe will definitely help them expand beyond the Asian region. Arcterus CEO Goichiro Arai understood there could be a possibility of meeting the demand of the app in UK, France and Russia given how students in these markets may think in line with the GESA event attendee perspective while the company’s judgment for expansion will be based on a market survey.

Since its launch four years ago, the app has acquired over 1.6 million downloads in the Asian region including more than 1.2 downloads in Japan alone. Considering the 7 million population of middle and high school students in Japan, 1 out of 2 students there use Clear. In addition, the company is offering the service in Thailand, Taiwan, China, Indonesia and Malaysia while planning to expand into Brazil, India and Vietnam after this year.

Besides Clear, Arcterus is handling a teaching tool for tutor school named Caiz or a individual tutoring cram school in the residential area of Ota City, Tokyo named Shiki Gakuin. The company raised about 130 million yen (about $1.05 million) from Startia (TSE:3393) and other companies in July of 2015, followed by securing 110 million yen ($1 million) series B round funding from The Asahi Gakusei Shimbun and Z-kai in 2016. They recently partner with Yoyogi Seminar Education Research Institute, the R&D arm of Japan’s leading cram school chain, to offer them with ClearS, a lecture support tool optimized for educational organizations.

 

 

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