Blog - IDEATE
Tenopy: A Vision of Bringing Quality Education Accessibility to All
A chance encounter with an inspiring teacher when he was 9 years old led Tenopy founder Soh Chong Kian to develop a lifelong passion for Mathematics. Soh would eventually go on to clinch the Bronze prize for the international Mathematics Olympiad in 1998, armed with the self-esteem and love for learning he developed under his teacher’s tutelage. That led him to ask the question: Why should finding the right teacher for your needs occur by chance? Today, he runs Tenopy, an EdTech company that matches students across Singapore with top-quality teachers suited for their growth.
Launched in 2017, Tenopy has attracted over 2000 students to its unique platform and conducted over 2500 classes. Primary School students from all over Singapore can access these live online classrooms in both small and large group class sizes. The online platform is accessible and convenient for students who can work from the comfort of their homes and save on transport, time, and money. Tenopy is not just an online tuition platform, however: the firm has developed an in-house pedagogy that fully utilizes the digital space as a tool to promote holistic education. This interactive pedagogy runs the gamut, including regular pop quizzes, in-class games, and mini competitions. Tenopy has also raised S$1.5 million from three venture capitals in Singapore, China, and Japan, a testament to its potential for disrupting and reinventing the tuition scene in Singapore.
Tenopy has remained committed to and even exceeded Soh’s founding vision of improving students’ accessibility to inspiring teachers. The company screens teachers for their ability to run lively and engaging classes, and trains them to incorporate tools like storytelling and animations to keep the class appealing for youths. In fact, these classes are so engaging that 70% of the company’s free trials have been converted to paid subscriptions through online marketing.
A parent of a student in primary 3 gave a glowing commendation of her daughter’s teacher, highlighting Ms Chomel’s passion and frequent acts of encouragement. Ms Chomel’s vibrancy and dedication powerfully impacted Rei, who requested to continue classes with her for the whole year and the year after. Rei went on to score top marks for a major exam under her guidance. She is just one of many students who have benefitted from Tenopy’s commitment to hosting effective and exciting teachers.
Beyond onboarding great teachers, Tenopy has also used its platform to innovate in the digital education space. Each student’s progress is monitored with regular diagnostics, and tutors receive regular student participation data that help them finetune their teaching approach to each student’s strengths and weaknesses. The company’s in-house algorithms thus ensure that each student receives an ever improving pedagogy constantly refined to their needs. The advantages of Tenopy’s digital approach do not stop there: the platform actively includes parents in their children’s learning, as they are able to sit in on online classes, view replays of previous classes, and receive weekly progress reports. Actively including parents in a child’s education is a crucial part of learning, and Tenopy’s programme ensures that parents are involved to an extent that far surpasses that of traditional educational institutions. With Tenopy, parents can remain aware and involved with their child’s progress at every step of the way.
Riding the tailwind of the Pandemic
Tenopy’s work in investing in digital education has never been more crucial than during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. During this pandemic, schools all over the world shut down physical classes and were forced to turn to digital and online modes of education. This period has proven Tenopy’s belief that online education is not just a substitute for offline education—rather, digital players have the potential to innovate on and even surpass offline education. The work Tenopy has put in to create an innovative and genuinely engaging platform was paid off during this period – the platform has seen a 100% increase in active students since March 2020, the start of the Circuit Breaker period in Singapore. Even as the circuit breaker drew to a close, the company saw a 95% retention rate moving from Term 1 to Term 2, demonstrating its ability to keep students engaged over a long period.
Staying true to its core values
Understanding the severity of the situation, Tenopy did its part to support those most affected in Singapore and live up to its mission of making high quality education accessible to all. As of June 2020, Tenopy has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with AMKFSC Community Services Ltd. (AMKFSC) to provide free Mathematics, English, and Sciences tutoring services to children from underprivileged backgrounds across a range of Primary 3 to Secondary 2 students. Not only does Tenopy provide its regular live online classrooms to these children, it has provided free recorded lessons and homework materials to online tutors from AMKFSC so that they can conduct professional tutoring for affected students.
Making quality online education accessible to all
“The pandemic has made digitalization a new norm and drastically accelerated the adoption of e-learning, which comes with its natural merits such as efficiency, easier accessibility (to high quality teachers), interactivity and affordability. This has already been demonstrated in mature markets like China. Tenopy was started as an online learning platform and we are continuously optimizing our proprietary AI -powered learning platform to make as many quality teachers and diversified courses accessible to as many students across geographical and income divide as possible,” says Soh, founder and CEO of Tenopy.
Moving forward, Tenopy thus plans to continue innovating its digital pedagogy by introducing more machine-assisted learning experiences for its students. Soh also wishes to scale Tenopy up by expanding into the broader Southeast Asian region and tailoring its curricula to each locale. The EdTech scene is booming in a region that prizes top-quality education and plays host to over 350 million internet users. Through partnerships with top education players, Soh hopes to fulfill Tenopy’s dreams of making high quality education accessible to all and reach students who are traditionally excluded from the education market.
Tenopy Fact Sheet
Tenopy is a Singapore-based education tech (Ed-Tech) online teaching platform that uses in-house algorithms to personalise its online tuition sessions, connecting experienced, engaging and suitable tutors to each student, according to their needs. Tenopy has seen a 100% increase in active students since march, and 25% Jan-Feb.
Business growth record:
- have initial students from the United States attending Singapore Math classes
- 100% growth in active subscriptions since announcement of circuit breaker
- S$30-36/ lesson
- 2500 +paid subscriptions to to year-long programmes since 2019;
- 300 purchases of workshops;
- 1000 unique paying students;
- >2500 lessons conducted;
- 650 monthly subscriptions for full year programmes in 2019;
- 70% of free trials converted to paid subscriptions from online marketing;
- 60% of monthly subscriptions extended to full term length or more ,
- 95% retention rate from Term 1 to 2 in 2020