Platforms such as Udemy, Coursera and Udacity have long been around to help democratize access to education, which was traditionally only available through educational institutions. Now, anyone can learn almost anything if you are connected to the world wide web.
In Singapore too, we have companies such as Learnemy, Kezaar and Learnershive, which aim to provide a platform for professionals to teach and share their skills to anyone at a nominal fee. Adding on the list is Twofold. Founded back in July 2011, Twofold is a platform where you can get practical expertise from professionals. As a professional and hoping to teach, you can set up a “teacher” account on Twofold, and the platform will help market your skills to people whom are interested in them.
To date, Twofold has had over 2,300 registered users on its platform. Some of the listed skills you can learn from professionals listed on Twofold include DJ courses, make up courses, sales courses, SEO courses, besides others. Of the 2,300 registered users, Twofold shared with e27 that over 1,700 individual payments have been ‘paid for’ classes on the site. In between December 2012 and October 2013, the site generated an average of S$1,100 per month by taking a 15% fee from each transaction.
In terms of teachers and coaches, there are over 70 of them active on the platform. Students usually attend group classes, although some coaches do provide one-on-one classes. The platform currently attracts teachers by “emailing them and telling them about the ease of use on Twofold”. The company also holds regular “Learn Over Lunch” sessions where it encourages attendees with minimum five years of experience in their fields to consider teaching.
Twofold competes in the same space as Learnemy, Kezaar and Learnershive
e27 also spoke to Co-founder Nityanand Rai with regards to the site’s competition – Learnemy and Kezaar. From Twofold’s point of view, both Learnemy and Kezaar are platforms that focus on teaching “hobbies”, while Twofold focuses on teaching “skills”.
“I derived the classification from the offerings of the other two portals. Learnemy seems to be sports focused (with some programming options) and Kezaar seems to be very food focused. We have those offerings from time to time and do not disallow users from putting those products up. Twofold, however, is more focused on providing expertise that users can use right away in their professional or personal lives,” said Rai.
With regards to that, e27 spoke to Learnemy’s Founder, Elisha Tan, to get her thoughts on the categorization of listings on Learnemy’s platform. When asked if she agreed that Learnemy is focusing on hobbies, Elisha begged to differ: “Hobbies are skills. Playing sports are skills. Playing music instruments are also skills.”
We also understood from Tan that currently, Learnemy has amassed a total of 2,300 registered users (talk about coincidence!) and 100 teachers on Learnemy. As Learnemy is a newer entrant to the space, as compared to Twofold, Learnemy so far has only 513 class payments from its students. Learnemy takes a 20% transaction fee for each class.
For Kezaar and Learnershive, e27 did a quick check on their website and Facebook pages, and it appears that there are minimal activities on their respective platforms.
Twofold is raising a funding round of US$750,000 at an undetermined valuation
Twofold is currently raising a funding round of US$750,000. When asked what valuation would the funding round be, Co-founder, Rai told e27 that the company is currently working with its mentors to decide on the valuation. While the team does not have any official advisors, Co-founder Nityanand told us that he has been constantly getting a lot of advise from Strategia Venture’s Ben Chew as well as NTU Ventures’ mentor Kee Thian Seng. The team has also been reading Jungle Ventures’ venture partner, Lim Der Shing’s personal blog which feature his analysis of investment deals in Singapore from time to time.
Founded by Nityanand Rai, Mohd Rushdy, Michelle Khoo and Kelvin He, the funding will be used for product development, design and marketing, as well as giving the team a three-year runway.
Read also: Can Learnershive be the Udemy of Asia?