Kezaar makes it easy for anyone to be a teacher
October 23, 2012 by Terence LEE
It seems that online marketplaces are all the rage in the startup scene these days. Just yesterday, I wrote about ZupaDo, a social network that connects hair stylists to potential customers. Today, I want to tell you about another one: Kezaar, a skills marketplace based in Singapore where learners can find sharers.
Startups like Kezaar all aim to do one thing very well: Make it convenient for anyone with a skill to set up a class, get students online, and collect payment. It’s especially useful for those who want to embark on a freelance teaching career, but don’t know how or aren’t willing to create their own online presence from scratch.
While we can argue that it also serves as a one-stop shop for learners — I’m not too convinced that is as important a value proposition, at least not at the initial stage.
In return for the convenience offered to sharers, Kezaar takes a 15% cut of the fees that students pay. If teachers decide to use one of Kezaar’s 14 location partners for classes, they might have to give up a percentage of their fees to venue owners as well. Kezaar also has a charity component: teachers can opt to contribute a part of their fees to a cause highlighted by the company.
As much as Kezaar tries to brand itself differently, I do think that at this stage the differentiation between it and its cousins — like Learnemy, Evenpanda, and so on, are only skin-deep. Aside from the type of activities offered — it has around 50 classes currently — the value proposition and business model is fundamentally the same.
What matters now is execution: ensuring a top-notch customer experience, generating repeat business for sharers, securing funding, and expanding quickly into other markets without compromising on product quality.
Team experience , chemistry, and dedication matters here. On paper, Kezaar seems to have the right goods.
The company’s CEO, Debbie Lee, had a 15-year corporate career in the media industry, working at advertising agencies, broadcasters, and internet ad network DoubleClick Asia. In 2008, she ventured off to start her own marketing, business, and communications consultancy firm before launching Kezaar.
The CMO is Kriti Kapoor, who has spent 15 years in marketing and technical sales roles in the IT industry. She then co-founded Appio Labs in 2011, a Singapore-based corporate mobile app developer.
Finally, there’s ST Chua, a Malaysian serial entrepreneur who worked at Nokia, Maxis Communications, and daily deals company Rebate Networks. He has founded a ton of businesses: Perfectsen, FIRWellness Spa and Mimijumi Asia. ST helps oversee strategy at the company.
The team is joined by Alex Lam and Mihkel Must, two experienced web development hands (more about Kezaar’s team). It’s certainly a deeply knowledgeable group that knows how to scale a business.
Kezaar has a tremendous opportunity before it right now. There isn’t a dominant online skills marketplace in Asia, yet with rising education and affluence among the region’s middle class, demand for such services will continue to rise.
It is currently seeking to raise USD250k.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE