This Start-up Connects Filipino and Thai Teachers to Chinese Students
ABC360 helps students boost their English speaking skills
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
While there are a lot of familiar names on CB Insights list of most well-funded tech start-ups in the Asia Pacific region, one may surprise you: ABC360. With a total disclosed funding of $15 million, ABC360 is listed as the top funded start-up out of the Philippines.
ABC360 sounds like the name of a learning center, and that’s what they do in a manner of speaking. The company uses teachers from the Philippines and Thailand to provide one-on-one English language classes online to Chinese citizens.
According to Rejane Ann A. Torres, general manager of ABC360 Philippines - Baguio Center, the company was founded to help Chinese locals make dramatic strides in their English language skills.
“ABC360 was founded based on a strong desire to help transform lives of Chinese individuals. With the emergence of globalization, Chinese individuals are in dire need of improving their English fluency,” she says.
ABC360 focuses on a younger demographic of students between the ages of 4 to 18. Torres explains that their curriculum is different from other providers because their materials are tailored to the needs, age, and even the learning style of each student.
Torres says that operations in the Philippines are teacher-focused. “They ensure that teachers are competitively trained with the best teaching practices and have that strong desire to help their students improve,” she says, adding that Chinese management is then responsible for ensuring that students are provided with immediate assistance and customer service that caters to individual needs.
Torres says the biggest challenge ABC360 has faced to date relates to its own employees and teachers.
“The company started without specific systems and mechanism in terms of strengthening the foundation of its employees. Hence, the [challenge is] streamlining its processes to meet the ever-changing demand of the business without compromising employee satisfaction,” she says.
ABC360 has gone to great lengths to customize the education of its students. Torres told the story of a student with no arms or legs, and as a result, could not attend regular primary school. Learning English through ABC360 was a natural fit, but the student’s teacher on the platform still got the sense that he felt self-pity that he could not do what other kids his age did.
“His teacher encouraged him and let him know that she can be his friend. Eventually, the student started to show interest in class and got inspired to get better and better,” Torres says.
ABC360 has big plans for 2018 and beyond.
“ABC360 envisions to provide something more for our students. Teaching service quality has been always the primary focus and this shall be attained by providing more quality training to the teachers,” she says.
BY Amanda Pressner Kreuser