Making and grading tests is among the most demanding tasks that teachers must deal with. In Vietnam there is a company called Azota is looking to assist with an online platform for software which not only assists teachers create and administer exams, but evaluates them based on information taken from Vietnamese educational materials. Azota has announced today that it had received $2.4 million in pre-Series A financing which was led by GGV Capital, with participation from Nextrans and a previous investor Do Ventures.
It was founded in the year 2000. Azota has 750,000 teachers as well as 10 million students from primary secondary, high and middle schools as its customers. The company claims that during the peak times of testing it has more than six million students each month, which amounts to around 30 percent of the total number of students and teachers in Vietnam. It claims that it will reduce the process of grading from two hours if done manually , to only 2 minutes.
Azota’s birth occurred amid the 2021 pandemic. Before founding the company, Au Nguyen, its CEO, worked at Viettel which is one of the biggest communications companies operating in Vietnam. He headed an education unit that focused on school management strategies However, he noticed that teachers faced a variety of issues that his team was unable to overcome. In the end He decided to team together with his fellow colleagues, Dai Nguyen and Hung Le and create Azota.
“As the team views it there are two main tasks for teachers teaching and assigning, and grading test,” they told TechCrunch in an email. “During the COVID period the teaching process had to go online and there were many tools to facilitate this transition like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Team, etc. However, when it came to online assignment and grade-giving, there were only a handful of tools to use, making the process laborious and long-lasting.”
Azota developed an app for optical character recognition that automatically recognizes Q&A’s taken using test images from teachers’ smartphones. It is able to shuffle those questions and answers in order to make hundreds of different test combinations. Because the OCR was designed with Vietnamese training materials, they claims it could detect Vietnamese test questions with 99 percent accuracy.
Azota’s founding team is also in the process of developing more sophisticated question bank feature which will let teachers select from its collection to build tests entirely from the ground up.
The program is used by educators from all over the country With around 22% of the students coming from major cities like Hanoi as well as Ho Chi Minh City, and the remainder distributed equally across all provinces of Vietnam the company said.
The team has identified two major categories of competitors. First, there are large corporations who offer software for learning (LMS) for schools, but they also say that it’s a fragmented market in Vietnam with various firms dominating distinct regions.
There are two startups that offer teaching tools Azota’s founders state that the tools for teaching are yet to be developed and Azota differs through the growth model of a product driven by its users that solves teachers’ primary issues as they expand in their assignments and grading, rather than trying to solve every problem that arises.
In a written statement, GGV Capital global managing partner Jixun Foo stated “Using technology to enable teachers to improve their teaching skills, Azota makes great education accessible to millions of students. They have the ability to unleash the full potential of teachers to help shape the future generation of Vietnamese young people.”
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