Kinobi – Edtech firm bags $1m to help university students start their careers

Kinobi EdTech Firm

Kinobi, a Singapore-based education technology startup (college-to-career network), has raised US$1 million in a seed round led by an Indonesia-based corporate VC firm. Several regional family offices and angels also joined.

Launched in January 2021, Kinobi helps college students enter the professional world. Students can use the platform to create a resume, practice for interviews, and increase their knowledge about the career that they want to pursue.

The company was founded by Singapore Management University graduates Benjamin Wong, Hafiz Kasman, and Joshua Phua.

Kinobi offers its platform through a software-as-a-service model for universities. It currently has 51 university partners across Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Its provides a SaaS platform for universities and career centres to track and measure their students’ job preparedness and report the results to the board of directors and the government.

The company has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Indonesia Career Center Network, which has more than 200 universities as its members. Kinobi plans to onboard these universities onto its platform in the next three months.

The edtech firm said that it has reached more than 200,000 users, with 300 career coaches that can offer guidance to students. Aside from the three co-founders, it currently has five employees that mostly work in marketing and operations.

Kinobi claims to have served over 150,000 students and 51 universities in Southeast Asia, including 23 universities in Indonesia, to date.

Kinobi plans to utilise the fresh funding to expand its network of academic partners & reach more university partners in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

“We’re merely scratching the surface in Jakarta and Manila. The hunger from students to succeed drives me every day to build a product so good that it helps them succeed better,” said Benjamin Wong, co-founder and CEO of Kinobi.

“Career success is more important for Gen Zs than any other generation. They have more debt, fewer earnings and higher unemployment,” stated the company. “There is also tremendous stress on university and career centres by governments and parents to perform and show that the earned degree is worth its value.”

Among Kinobi’s partners are major private colleges including Singapore Management University, Singapore Institute of Management, and PSB Academy.

According to Google, TEMASEK, and Bain & Company’s e-Conomy report 2021, edutech in Southeast Asia had a high development potential in H1 2o21 with US $200 million in financing. Scaling, on the other hand, remains a major difficulty, as this sector need a country-driven approach to education.

Management Team

Benjamin Wong – Co-Founder & CEO at Kinobi.

Hafiz Kasman – Co-Founder & COO at Kinobi

Joshua Phua Xue Yong – Co-Founder & CTO at Kinobi

Ref: Tech in Asia