Pandai, Malaysian edtech startup raises $2.03 million from Y Combinator, 500 Global and others

(ASEAN Startups) Pandai Education Sdn Bhd (Pandai), an education technology startup based in Malaysia, said Wednesday it has recently raised a total of $2.03 million investment from a group of local and international investors in its pre-seed and seed round.

Pandai, Malaysian edtech startup raises $2.03 million from Y Combinator, 500 Global and others

Among the investors that participated in the rounds are Y Combinator, Global Founders Capital, 500 Global, Soma Capital, Harvard, Pandai said in a statement.

Joining the round included Malaysian investors RHL Ventures, Falnas Capital, and Kembara Kapital.

Angel investors including ex-Google director, unicorn startup founders, and prominent entrepreneurs from Malaysia, Australia, India, Indonesia, and United States, also participated in the round.

Pandai noted the investment under RHL Ventures is part of Dana Penjana Nasional, which is an investment fund set up by the government of Malaysia to encourage venture capital firms to invest in high potential start-ups.

“We launched Pandai in 2020 to make quality, personalized education accessible to every student. We are glad that investors believe in our vision and want to work together with Pandai to help improve the education system. We want to bring impact not only in Malaysia but also in other countries by expanding Pandai to other markets in the future,” said Khairul Anwar bin Mohamad Zaki, Pandai Co-Founder, and Chief Executive Officer.

“The fund will be used to enhance the app to give a better learning experience for school students, as well as assist their parents and teachers. We are also looking to collaborate with educational institutions and other education providers,” he added.

Prior to the current fundraising, Pandai became the first Malaysian education technology startup to be accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program, based in Silicon Valley, United States.

Pandai is a learning app that focuses on learning and assessment to help primary and secondary school students improve their academic performance. It was founded in January 2020 by Khairul Anwar, Akmal Akhpah, and Suhaimi Ramly, who has been in the education industry for the past 14 years.

Through Pandai, students learn using gamified quizzes aligned to the national curriculum. Students also receive personalized analysis using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that allow them to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Dedicated modules for parents and teachers are also integrated within the app to monitor and support students’ progress. Pandai now has more than 300,000 registered students and prides itself as a social enterprise that balances social impact with best commercial practices.

Pandai recently received certification from Education Alliance Finland (EAF), an international pedagogical accreditation agency that evaluates learning solutions based on global quality standards. Previously, it received various awards and grants from Malaysia’s Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (TERAJU), Cradle Fund, Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI), Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB), and other organizations.

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