[Updated] Indonesia’s Ruangguru raises seed funding to scale up services locally

Online private tutoring marketplace Ruangguru has secured an undisclosed sum from East Ventures to grow its offerings in Indonesia

Co-Founders of Ruangguru.com

Co-founders of Ruangguru.com

Indonesia-based online private tutoring marketplace Ruangguru.com has today announced raising an undisclosed amount of seed funding from East Ventures, a Southeast Asian-centric venture capital firm.

According to an official release, Ruangguru is East Ventures’ first education portfolio company in Southeast Asia.

The tutor-student matching startup will use the funds to “further develop the online platform, achieve product-market fit, and scale up services in key cities in Indonesia,” read the same report.

Adamas Belva and Iman Usman, Co-founders, Ruangguru, also spoke of lofty ambitions. They said, “Our ultimate aim is to be a platform that allows anyone to learn anything from anyone in Southeast Asia, capturing the high share of education-related expense in household budget in the region.”

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In the country alone, it faces competition from sites like Tutor.co.id, which started in 2012. Neighbouring country Singapore is also home to many hyperlocal private tutoring marketplaces, like School of Tutors, and even newly launched Learnemy and LessonsGoWhere.

Music Class Tutoring

Since its launch in April 2014, the platform has garnered 1,000 registered teachers in Indonesia, offering both school subjects and extracurricular activities like sports, computers and music.

In order to minimise back-door transactions, which is essentially the scenario that teachers would cut out the middleman and conduct classes with existing students, the company factors in the number of hours teachers register on its platform as a main component of its teacher rating system. This is especially important, given that Ruangguru generates revenue via a 20 per cent cut on each transaction.

e27 has reached out to Ruangguru with more questions. Updates to come.

UPDATE: In conversation with e27, Belva shared that the idea came from a personal pain for both him and Usman when they were about to enter University. “In Indonesia,” he said, “finding good tutors has always been a problematic affair that includes randomly calling friends and family members for references which only often results in average-quality tutors.”

However, even though it was a prevalent problem, he said that no one seemed to be working on the issue. Upon graduation, the duo decided that someone needed to start Ruangguru to create a centralised platform for private tutors.

At the moment, the company has a head count of five, and is looking to grow to 10 staff members by October 2014.

Belva declined to disclose the number of transactions processed and whether the company is profitable.

By end-2014, he hopes to triple the number of registered teachers on our platform, and reach out to a sizeable number of teachers in big cities outside Jakarta, Indonesia. There are also various interesting new features in the pipeline like having more options for payments, a class gallery for teacher-driven classes, and online-based private tutoring, he shared. In addition, users can look forward to a fully renovated physical space in the capital, which will be used to hold daily classes and community events.

Elaine Huang

Elaine is a fervent believer that if there ever is a zombie apocalypse, we will all be snapping away at them with our phones and posting them onto Instagram. A Mass Communication graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies, she enjoys writing about technology and entrepreneurs. When not hashtagging her way through all sorts of trouble, Elaine is probably contemplating how to write in the third person.

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