Bringing tutors’ word of mouth online

Tuition is not a new thing. It’s an age old industry that’s been here for a long time. Still, even as
the world edges forward, it’s surprising that the $1Bn local tuition system
has not seen more innovation. As applications such as Koobits and
Snapask  attempt to steer this sector into new territories, the most
traditional form of tuition – tutelage – has received little upgrade. Today, parents still rely on
agencies to broker them with tutors. Those who require more assurance turn to friends and
colleagues for more reliable word of mouth recommendations. But against the backdrop of the
internet of things, it seems rather surprising that this system has not been streamlined.
That is exactly what the founders of Yodaa  hope to solve. Speaking with them,
we found they are not trying to upend the sector, but evolve it in a manner that retains the
strongest aspects of word of mouth recommendations, yet keep it simple and reliable.
Run by 4 local graduates, Yodaa found that the real shakeup was to turn the existing model on
its own head. “We needed a model that help parents gain access to tutors who were
experienced in the industry, and one where such tutors would be organically incentivized to

bring their word of mouth reviews online”. They have since seem to hit a sweet spot, backed by
the numbers since their launch in June.
Very simply, Yodaa lets parents and students request a tutor in 30 seconds, and receive up to 5
profile quotes in 24 hours. Within those 24 hours, that request is sent real time to a set of
curated tutors in the vicinity, who can choose to quote and make a personal introduction to the
But what stands out for parents is that each quote will certainly contain references from that
teacher’s previous students. While simple, this aspect could be the key differentiating factor
here. A quick browse through parenting forums and social groups easily turns up numerous
threads  from parents asking for word of mouth tutor recommendations. To
think that this cumbersome practice could be reduced to 30 seconds and 24 hours for parents
seems promising.

Apparently, tutors were also heavily involved in the conception and building of the service. This
allowed them to toy with the idea of removing one of the longstanding thorns in the industry –
commissions. By only accepting tutors with experience vouched for by previous students,
Yodaa rewards tutors by removing commission fees traditionally tagged to such transactions. In
return, all tutors who receive Yodaa’s selection invites are encouraged to create impeccable
profiles of themselves, so as to maintain the quoting quality and user experience of the service.
We’re interested to see how this startup navigates the industry in the months ahead. For now,
they seem razor focused on keeping this service clean and simple. And against the messy
backdrop of this fragmented industry, that may not be a bad thing.