Vietnam’s EdTech (Education Technology) has grown fast, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector is expected to develop further this year if it can overcome the challenges in the post-pandemic period.
In Vietnam, Galaxy Education is one of the largest and most well-known EdTech firms.
Offering online learning courses on the HOCMAI (Study Forever) for 15 years, Galaxy Education has pioneered courses for learners at all ages.
The firm currently has over seven million trainees and 600,000 online lectures under many forms, such as asynchonorous learning, synchonorous learning, and hybrid learning.
Pham Giang Linh, CEO of Galaxy Education, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the EdTech market in Vietnam was formed in 2006-07, or the first stage of the Internet economy in the Southeast Asian country.
However, since 2016, especially in 2020-21, online teaching and learning demands have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the local EdTech sector has been thriving.
Linh added that the prospect of Vietnam’s EdTech is bright. In 2022, Vietnam had more than 100 new EdTech firms and attracted a huge foreign investment in the sector.
Some EdTech companies, such as Topica, ELSA, CoderSchool, Edmicro, Vuihoc, and Educa, have mobilized investments totaling millions to tens of millions of U.S. dollars.
Domestic groups, including Viettel, FPT, and VNPT, have also invested in and expanded their online education ecosystems.
At EDUtech Asia, Asia's largest conference and exhibition for educators and EdTech providers held in Singapore in November last year, experts assessed that Vietnam’s EdTech market, besides its potential, benefited from external factors in 2021 and 2022.
In particular, in July 2021, China issued regulations hindering foreign investment in education, forcing many EdTech firms to withdraw from this market.
Meanwhile, EdTech companies in India have been stagnant so they have found it hard to seek new capital resources, according to data from Fintrackr, a media platform for entrepreneurs, startups, and technology enthusiasts.
In 2022, only five Indian EdTech firms successfully called for large investments.
In this context, international experts at EDUtech Asia said large EdTech firms are seeking a new environment in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam. The trend will go on in the coming time.
The Vietnamese EdTech market will likely generate revenue of some US$3 billion this year.
The country’s EdTech annual growth has reached 20.2 percent in 2019-23.
Ho Chi Minh City: A bright spot
Huynh Kim Tuoc, director of the Saigon Innovation Hub under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology, said technological startups have paid a lot of attention to data on the digital market.
In Vietnam, the number of residents owning mobile devices and using the Internet is always high compared with that in other Southeast Asian countries.
In Ho Chi Minh City, some 80-85 percent of residents accessed the Internet in 2021. In addition, the proportion of adults using smartphones in the city reached 75.7 percent, among the leading localities in Vietnam.
According to Truong Le Quynh Tuong, director of Southeast Asia at ClassIn, an EdTech company, the EdTech market in Ho Chi Minh has been attractive to investors over the past few years as local residents are willing to spend on education.
The number of parents with wide knowledge of technology in the city is higher than that in other parts of the country. They are open to new technologies and spend big on their children’s education.
Tuong said in 2023, the EdTech market in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam as a whole will continue thriving as EdTech giants have regarded it as a potential market.
Many EdTech firms from Singapore, Thailand, China, India, and the U.S. have worked out plans to invest in Vietnam.
“A positive signal is that technology has become indispensable to teaching and learning activities in Vietnam after the COVID-19 pandemic. Many teachers have still prepared e-lectures and given assignments to students online.
“In Ho Chi Minh City, the municipal Department of Education and Training has set a target that digital learning activities must account for 35 percent, thus maintaining the habit of applying technology to education,” Tuong added.
The 2021 Vietnam EdTech report revealed that Vietnam achieved an EdTech growth rate of 44.3 percent, ranking among the top 10 countries with the fastest expansion in the world.
Meanwhile, a report by Ken Research, a market research and consulting firm, showed that Vietnam’s EdTech market scale will reach $3 billion this year.
Director of the Saigon Innovation Hub Tuoc said the future of the EdTech sector will be driven by the state.
Education management agencies should seek and apply effective EdTech products, considering it the digital transformation in education.
Moreover, EdTech firms should cooperate to come up with multi-functional projects and products, Tuoc added.