South African startup Cognition.Online has launched its on-demand mobile application connecting students with qualified tutors in various fields.
Available on iOS and Android, the Cognition.Online app allows users to identify qualified tutors sourced from approved parties, and also automates bookings, payments, and administration.
Tutors and students are able to connect based on their location, with the platform handling the whole process from then on, eliminating the administrative burden previously imposed on the tutor, student, and whomever is paying.
The startup is currently predominantly active in Gauteng and Stellenbosch, but rapidly expanding across the country. Co-founder Kyle Dodds told Disrupt Africa Cognition.Online was born after the ream realised the tutoring industry was a very backward one.
“The only competition was really traditional companies doing everything manually, or an app here or there that was more along the lines of a database then anything else,” he said.
Cognition.Online has been self-funded thus far, something Dodds said he is extremely proud of. He said uptake so far has been “amazing”, with over 160 tutors already registered on the platform and the growing daily.
“As word spreads with more and more successful lessons are taking place, student sign ups are also gaining momentum,” he said. “In this case parents struggle to believe it could possibly be this simple and convenient to get a tutor and so their trust is often gained only by them seeing friends or family first using and loving the service.”
The platform currently caters for grades four to 12 in the South African schooling system, including the six major subjects. The app is free to download for students and tutors, with Cognition.Online charging a small administration fee when a booking is made through its platform.
“Our service is available countrywide, although our biggest presence is in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Stellenbosch,” Dodds said.
“We are adamant that by next year we will be able to expand further into Africa, as well as possibly Europe and Australia if we find the right partnerships in those countries.”
The startup also plans to broaden its subject offering to University courses. Dodds said the goal was to provide education not only to the wealthy, but all social classes. Cognition.Online is in the process of starting its own NPO, through which it will offer free workshops to underprivileged learners using its tutors.
“This will be possible through strategic corporate partnerships and really allow us to make a difference in education on a broad scale,” Dodds said.