Edtech APP lets Students Upload Math Problems Through their Phone
The South Korean ed-tech startup, Mathpresso, had been growing rapidly. The company recently announced that it added Google as a new investor. Mathpresso was founded in 2015 and operates a mobile app called Qanda (pronounced as ‘Q and A’) that allows users to send photos of their math problems to get a solution.
The app's AI then uses optical character recognition technology to search for answers in texts. Around two-thirds of all Korean students are said to use the app, and the company claims there are more than 12 million active users in 50 countries, with 10 million photos uploaded every day. During lockdown, the number of Qanda users quintupled, as students without easy access to teachers sought more math help.
The app doesn’t just provide answers, it also provides general methods for working out the answer. The company also has plans to develop algorithms that can recommend similar questions to those students are stuck on, to help them practice. Mathpresso has opened in-person study centers in Vietnam and has plans for additional centers in Korea. These are used, in part at least, for research and development.
Mathpresso cofounder and co-CEO Ray Lee, predicts that this hybrid approach, which combines online and offline learning, will be the future of tutoring. “The education sector is just one of those sectors that doesn’t allow for a lot of transformation”, he says. “It is a bit traditional and conservative, and it’s probably going to be a while until it transitions into more AI or tech-based”.
Recently, AI has been seen “disrupting” fields such as carbon accounting, logistics, and even sleep. In fact, there is hardly a field that is not being transformed by AI, and education is just the latest. With the global tutoring market expected by some to reach a value of $200 billion by 2026, Google is clearly betting that Mathpresso is on to something big.