In Japan, getting into a respected high school, university, or career is largely based on a person’s performance in rigorous entrance exams. That’s why the country’s juku – cram schools – have become a US$10 billion industry.
One #startup that’s been fighting for a slice of this market, Arcterus, tells Tech in Asia today that it has raised US$1 million in series B funding from its new business partners. The team has forged an alliance with distance learning company Z-Kai and Japan’s second-largest national newspaper company, Asahi, for premium content on its Clear app.
Japan’s cram schools are a US$10 billion industry.
Clear allows users to view, share, and rate their class notes. Students simply snap a photo of their notebooks, add stickers and highlights, and upload it for the community. Someone studying the same subject or using the same textbook can review the notes and follow note-takers they like.
Arcterus founder and CEO Goichiro Arai says Z-Kai will provide problem sets in math, physics, and chemistry on Clear, while Asahi will supply “articles related to entrance exams, studying, and recent news that may be used in exams.”
So far, Clear has 1.2 million users in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and China.
Arcterus will use the funding from its partners to further develop its product and expand in Southeast Asia. “We are planning to enter Vietnam, Indonesia, and Philippines in 2017 and 2018,” says Arai.
Arcterus also operates Caiz, a service that assesses a student’s learning style and recommends a tailored study plan to the student’s teacher.