Singapore founded independent software vendor (ISV) AvePoint is making a play in the education sector with the launch of a new education management system, EduTech.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, known for its existing solutions for migrating, managing and protecting data in Microsoft 365, has claimed its new platform boasts one of the first holistic SaaS education management systems directly integrated with Microsoft 365 for educational institutions and businesses with training and accreditation needs.
The EduTech platform is made up of three complementary SaaS solutions that use Microsoft 365 as their foundation. These include a learning management system called Curricula, an exam management system dubbed Examina and Vitae, a customer relationship management (CRM) and communications system.
For Tianyi Jiang, CEO and co-founder of AvePoint, the new offering is targeting what he regards as a major need in the education sector.
“Higher education deserves better technology solutions,” Jiang said. “Exam solutions are simplistic; learning management solutions lack strong mobile-first, online collaboration functionality; and universities have been forced to patch together numerous disparate marketing tools to execute what should be simple student and alumni communication related tasks.
“EduTech will disrupt this status quo by taking Microsoft 365 and combining it with some of the most advanced technologies all tailored to the needs of higher education. It really is a holistic education technology modernisation-as-a-service offering,” he added.
Annie Koh, professor emeritus of finance at Singapore Management University and AvePoint EduTech senior industry advisor, echoed Jiang’s sentiment, suggesting that the next five years is set to result in huge changes for the industry.
“We believe the higher education model will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 100 years,” Koh said. “COVID-19 has been a shock to a system that hasn’t quite evolved from the physical classroom model of teaching and learning.
“Even after the pandemic has passed, the institutes of higher learning that understand the future is in developing a modular, learn everywhere environment with rich online collaboration – they are the ones that will thrive,” she said.
The launch comes as AvePoint secures fresh investment from EDBI, a global Asian-based investor, to support its Asia Pacific (APAC) expansion through Singapore, on its way to a planned US$2 billion public listing in the United States.
While the amount of new funding from EDBI remains undisclosed, the company's EduTech business has separately raised SGD$11 million to date.
As the company prepares for further growth, it is taking a concerted channel-focused approach to its ongoing expansion.
Indeed, AvePoint aims to increase its penetration in the APAC region specifically, with an emphasis on working with channel partners. As such, it is investing resources to support its channel goals as well as its partners from product to support.
“Going public will allow us to scale our key growth vectors which include channel marketing, customer success initiatives, international markets and product innovation,” said Jiang. “In APAC, we see a great growth opportunity to both accelerate the digital transformation of organisations and launch new ventures such as EduTech from our presence in Singapore.”
Updated on 2 March to clarify that the value of the new investment from EDBI is undisclosed and that the company's EduTech business has separately raised SGD$11 million.