October 28, 2021

Doyobi Raises USD2.8 million in Pre-Series A Funding

The Doyobi team is proud to announce that we have raised USD2.8 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures.

The round also included Tres Monos Capital, Novus Paradigm Capital and XA Network, along with angel investors like Carousell chief executive officer Quek Siu Rui, Glints co-founders Oswald Yeo and Seah Ying Cong, and Grab Financial Group head Reuben Lai.

It’s been an exciting first year for us, working with schools in more than 10 countries to deliver our teaching resources to over 2,000 teachers. Our CEO, John Tan, shares more about where we’ve been, and where this round of funding will take us next.

Why we founded Doyobi

I started Doyobi in early 2020 after eight years of running Saturday Kids. Saturday Kids offers STEM-focused camps and programmes for kids 5-16. Saturday Kids was reaching a couple of thousand kids a year, a drop in the ocean considering the hundreds of millions of kids who don't have access to STEM education. I decided the way to make the greatest impact is to go where the kids are - schools - and work with the people who have the biggest influence on student achievement - teachers.

There is a massive gap between what is being taught in schools and what children need to learn in order to be prepared for jobs of the future. Curiosity, imagination and empathy are just as important as literacy and numeracy skills. We believe teachers are integral to transforming the classroom experience.

Doyobi is focused on empowering teachers with the resources and skills to deliver STEM and 21st-century skills in the classroom.

Driving adoption of STEM education

Indonesia is currently Doyobi's biggest market. At a national level, the government understands career prospects in Indonesia are still focused on natural resources rather than digital and 21st-century skills, and there is a need to make the shift from the former to the latter.  At a school level, school principals and heads of departments recognise the importance of helping teachers develop digital and STEM skills.

Without upskilling teachers, it is extremely difficult to bring technology into the classroom and bring STEM education to learners. According to a recent report by Octava Foundation and MIT Solve, teachers in Indonesia are trained in local colleges, which may not be up to date with new content, standards and curriculum developed at the national level.

"Our future leaders need to be equipped with the tools to be innovative problem solvers and forward thinkers. Doyobi empowers schools to develop in students the computational thinking skills needed to solve tomorrow's problems, and they do this with the best interest of the kids at heart, which aligns with our values.” - Ilsa Nurina, Chief Human Resources and Academic Development Officer of HighScope Indonesia

We believe many other middle-income countries in Asia and Africa understand the need to become less reliant on natural resources and move towards becoming digital economies. We also believe there are other progressive educators like Ilsa who believe in helping learners become problem solvers and forward thinkers.

Helping school leaders implement STEM practices

The challenge for Doyobi is finding the school leaders who are ready to take that first step towards implementing a STEM-focused curriculum oriented towards helping learners develop 21st-century skills like creativity and critical thinking.

To that end, Doyobi is launching the STEM School Leader Fellowship, co-designed with Allan Shaw, the former principal of The Knox School, one of Melbourne’s leading independent schools.

The goal of the Fellowship is to help school leaders learn how to effectively implement STEM practices in school and develop in students the skill sets and mindsets to succeed in the 21st century.

We want to hear from educators about the challenges they face trying to bring STEM into the classroom. If you are a school leader or teacher who believes in the need for education to inspire learners to become problem solvers and forward thinkers, please reach out to us here.

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