South African startup “Ubers” education

December 21, 2016 • Education, Online & Social, Southern Africa

Apps for business

The app allows parents and students to find tutors in their area by subject specialisation, book lesson times and pay easily. (Image Source:

Cognition Online, a new mobile app for booking and paying tutors, has gone live in South Africa to connect tutors and pupils. The app was announced as a winner in the Samsung Launching People- Mixed Talents competition.

Cognition Online allows parents and students to find tutors in their area by subject specialisation, book lesson times and pay easily. Tutors can accept bookings via the app and receive their payment from Cognition.Online. Parents and tutors are free to negotiate fees and both tutors and pupils can be rated by the system.

Co-founder Kyle Dodds says Cognition. Online was born out of his own experience as a tutor while he was studying at the University of Pretoria. “As an engineering student, I tutored Maths and demand grew to a point where I took on other tutors to assist. The pool of tutors grew and administration of the bookings and payments became a challenge.” Dodds began looking into a mobile app that would help him manage bookings, payments and subject pairing more efficiently. Fellow students came on board as split equity shareholders and the development of Cognition. Online got underway in 2015.

The system, initially launched in the Pretoria area, is currently recruiting tutors in the Johannesburg area and will soon expand to other major centres in South Africa.

The system simplifies bookings and payments for individual tutors and their pupils; but also has the potential to offer bookings and pre-payment services for larger education service providers. “After-school tutoring companies might engage us to offer a pre-payment and booking service for entire classes or courses, for example, avoiding admin and debt collection problems.

In addition, Cognition.Online is in talks to extend the system’s functionality to support subsidised tutoring for disadvantaged pupils, sponsored by businesses as part of their Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programmes.

“The Samsung Launching People – Mixed Talents challenge is now in its second year and is supported by Samsung South Africa in line with our focus on creating continuous innovation as well as supporting new business development in our communities,” Potgieter concludes.

Staff Writer



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