Edtech and digital talent placement startup Binar Academy has kicked off 2021 by successfully closing its seed round of investment. The funding round was led by Singapore-based venture capital firm, Teja Ventures, and includes participation from the Indonesia Women Empowerment Fund (IWEF – an impact fund jointly managed by Moonshot Ventures and YCAB Ventures), Eduspaze, The Savearth Fund, and several angels from the Angel Investment Network of Indonesia (ANGIN).
This injection of fresh capital will be used to further accelerate the growth of their core technology education offerings as well as to hire experts to facilitate the digitalisation of content and curriculum to create, train and continuously develop digital talent.
Founded in 2017, Binar Academy is a pioneering edtech platform focusing on developing digital skills and talent by providing access to an enhanced learning experience through a defined learning journey and diverse learning style, which includes online classes and multiple types of content that students can choose from. Through its educational programs Binar Bootcamp and Binar Insight, as well as talent placement service, Job Connect, Binar Academy is able to support the career growth of high school graduates, university students, and career shifters. The company is led by Alamanda Shantika, who was the first VP of Technology and Product at GO-JEK, along with fellow GO-JEK alumnus Dita Aisyah and Seto Lareno.
“In the past three years we have continued to evolve our core product – Binar Bootcamp – to fulfill the learning experience of our students and the market demand for digital talent. We are excited for the opportunity to expand our reach, educate more students, and build a community of lifelong learners.” said Alamanda Shantika, Founder and CEO of Binar Academy. “It has always been my mission to inspire Indonesian youth and help them discover their true potential.”
Last year, Binar Academy educated over 8,000 students through Binar Bootcamp, an intensive course for beginners, and also its interactive webinar series, Binar Insight. Student growth continued during the pandemic as students adapted to learning online. Additionally, Binar Academy was able to continue placing graduates and talents to partners through Job Connect, producing revenue growth of 80% in 2020, exceeding projections.
“We believe that digital talent is key in the acceleration of Southeast Asia’s digital economy, and will enable Indonesia in its vision to become the digital energy of Asia. Binar Academy is a pioneer in the technology education space in providing a one stop solution for education, talent recruitment and retention, and we are proud to back Alamanda and her team.” Virginia Tan, Founding Partner of Teja Ventures.
“The Indonesia Women Empowerment Fund (IWEF) addresses systemic problems that prevent women from participating more in the economy, and invests in disruptive tech solutions led by women entrepreneurs. By enabling women in Indonesia to pursue jobs and better livelihoods in the digital economy, and as a woman-led startup, Binar Academy strongly aligns with our mission,” said Stella Tambunan, CEO of YCAB Ventures, and Tom Schmittzehe, Managing Partner of Moonshot Ventures, whose respective organisations jointly manage the fund.
Preparing Indonesians for the digital economy
Developing new talents and upskilling existing talents for the digital economy has been proven urgent in Indonesia. The World Bank reports that the skill sets of ICT graduates in Indonesia fall short of industry requirements, projecting a shortage of 9 million skilled and semi-skilled ICT workers up to 2030. Binar Academy plans to utilize the connections and expertise brought in by current investors such as Singapore’s first edtech accelerator Edupaze to build learning methodologies and outcomes that will prevail in the ever growing digital industry.
“We really like Binar Academy’s mission that focuses on improving learning outcomes and resolving access to quality education. It is timely for us to be working with Binar Academy as they have bootstrapped for a few years and is ready to scale now. The accelerator provides edtech-specific product strengthening, access to partners and ecosystem; and we can help to accelerate the growth,” stated Alex Ng, Managing Director of EduSpaze.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has driven Indonesia’s education institutions, teachers, students as well as parents to adapt to online learning. However, we still need to innovate the way education is presented to create a more approachable and enjoyable learning experience. I’m confident that the combination of enhanced learning experiences, technology, and community cultivated by Binar Academy will bring us that,” closed Alamanda Shantika.