Hong Kong App Labeled As The ‘Uber for Tutoring’ Helps Millions
The on-demand education app Snapask was quickly labeled the "Uber" for tutoring when it came out in 2015. CEO and founder Timothy Yu didn't question the label. According to CNBC, the founder said that people must've realized it was like the ride-hailing app because of the convenience it gave its users.
It started as a young startup with about 100,000 clients, all of them, students. Like Uber, it's managed to hit the ground running, moving faster than any other similar app in the two years of its existence.
It's managed to become something that, now, it matches students with qualified tutors for question-and-answer sessions that are served in an interactive manner.
It's connected its two million-strong clients with qualified educators across eight countries and has also managed to raise $20 million in funding. Founder Timothy Yu said it started from "laziness" and was borne out of necessity when he was just a high school tutor studying in university.
He shared that he was doing tutoring to fund his studies. He quickly saw how "inefficient" the private tutoring industry was, which included several hours that went unpaid. These were lost to transportation and planning.
Snapask is a technology company which owns the app of the same name. It is based in Hong Kong and connects students with tutors to receive "on-demand, academic support," according to Forbes. Yu almost didn't manage to launch it too; he shared that he was reluctant to tell his parents about it, and had to bring up a "strong argument" to start his business.
He remained honest about how he thought that the company he was starting had a good future and that Yu was going to support himself initially, but he needed their support as well. In its initial form, it was a message board very much like Reddit.
Users could leave messages behind, place videos and images in the message, and waited for someone to respond to their messages.
After countless tests and mockups, the app evolved to where it a was-a platform that connected people with one another seamlessly. With its evolution came the challenge to find funding. Seed and "angel" investors started believing in the founder's mission of expanding operations outside of Hong Kong and into Southeast Asia.
Yu's ambitious undertaking gave students a chance to find the right tutor for them. Yu recognized the problem of connection in larger countries, but with the app, finding help for a scholastic problem became much easier.