With a 17% university admission rate in Hong Kong, it is common for the upper class to have a private tutor, since it improves their chances of gaining entry. Since it’s hard for the less privileged to afford tuition fees of HK$1200 per a subject, a cheaper alternative is a crammer school, yet these usually deliver no significant improvement to attendees since the teaching is mass-produced and tutors do not offer after-school support.

Appedu‘s flagship product, Snapask however offers affordable and personalized teaching to students through a mobile app that allows students to post academic questions and to instantly connect to tutors for 1-to-1 real-time study. Once a question is posted via photo, tutors then screen for and select questions they can help with. This process take an average of just 17 seconds, and during the daytime when tutors are more active, it often takes just a few seconds. The student can then interact with tutor instantly in a chat room and ask questions through instant messages. This process helps student’s independent and active learning process.

The company has added 300 more tutors in last two weeks. Having recruited over 600 tutors from the top three universities in Hong Kong (HKU, CUHK, HKUST), most are undergraduates, while ten are PhD students and 28 are studying for a Masters. “It has been quite easy to retain the commitment from tutors. Some tutors we’ve talked to said that they usually answer the question in their leisure time and tend to regard it as a game,” Appedu CEO Timothy Yu said.

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com