Futurra Group’s MathMaster Introduces AI Tutor

  • MathMaster by Futurra Group Is an app that connects users with freelance math experts for assistance
  • MathMaster integrates and AI solution to speed up the service and alleviate the workload of human experts
  • The AI integration cannot replace human experts but rather assist them with simpler tasks

MathMaster, the Ukrainian-born app for solving mathematical tasks, has announced the addition of a new feature this January. AI Tutor is a GenAI-based virtual assistant that also explains math topics and solutions to assignments.

Lockdown’s Edtech Momentum to Make Use Of

Kyiv-based software house Futurra Group conceived MathMaster during the COVID-19 lockdown as it noticed the rapid growth of edtech. The popularity of online learning tools grew exponentially, and VCs were eager to fund this industry. After the pandemic, the trend remains unchanged, and it is apparent that the digital transformation will continue to grow in the future.

Futurra Group’s research of the edtech niche revealed the rapid growth of automatic applications for solving mathematical problems, as well as a significant gap between the revenue of the top 3-5 players and all other projects.

Vitalii Shatalov, CEO at Futurra Group

‘We saw great business potential and decided to try to compete with services with world recognition and huge amounts of investment – Chegg, Photomath, Mathway, and Brainly. We got fired up with the idea of building a world-class Ukrainian educational product,’ Futurra Group’s CEO Vitalii Shatalov recalls.

Initial Automation Idea and Pivot toward Human Tutors

He admits that automatic recognition, same as in most similar services, was the primary function from which MathMaster began. But – striving to create something unique, the developers began to study the competitors in detail and look for their weak spots in the competing solutions.

‘What we found was that competitors’ automatic solutions work correctly only for 50-60% of tasks, while the rest simply remain unanswered. The reason was simple – users cannot always formulate a request in the correct format or make a very bad picture of their task, and automatic response algorithms or artificial intelligence won’t help in these cases. We set a goal of covering 100% of user requests,’ Mr Shatalov tells ITKeyMedia.

To do this, the team had to pivot toward live communication between the user and freelance mathematical experts. This is how the MathMaster’s main feature, Expert Chat, appeared in the application. The decision quickly proved to be correct: user satisfaction and their return to the service increased significantly.

Expert Chat allows users to get step-by-step assistance with any mathematical issue in real time. The expert is connected to the user’s request automatically – it’s like Uber for solving math.

Success Despite the War

Importantly, the planning of the project was finalized on February 23, 2022, i.e. right before Russia’s full-on invasion of Ukraine. Seeing how MathMaster was developed by a 100% Ukrainian team, its results look particularly impressive:

  • the service lists 1,000+ experts
  • in periods of increased demand (September and January), they solve up to 20,000+ tickets per day
  • about 400,000 new users join the service each month.
  • with over 10 mln downloads (80% of which are from the USA), it is in the top 5 math apps in the US

Anton Kushnir, CPO at MathMaster

‘The demand for math tutors there is growing every year, but this pleasure is not cheap at all. The cost of their services can reach USD 200 per hour. This is significantly more expensive than an annual subscription to MathMaster. Our aim is to make the most convenient alternative to expensive tutoring for people learning math,’ MathMaster’s CPO Anton Kushnir explains.

Mr Shatalov adds that another great advantage of MathMaster among competitors is its speed. The average time for processing user requests is four minutes – as opposed to up to one hour with similar services from other vendors.

Return to Automation

However, the team didn’t completely abandon the original idea of solving the tasks automatically and developed AI Tutor, which was presented this January. The goal was to provide users with unlimited instant assistance, at the same time alleviating the math experts’ work load. Naturally, it was also worthwhile to verify the overall influence of implementing 2023’s most hyped technology on MathMaster.

The new feature was tested on 30% of our users over the course of two months to make sure that the new feature would have a positive influence on our user activity. Moreover, the team needed to eliminate the possibility of any negative impact on the basic features of communicating with experts (which generated more revenue).

The team reports that outcome turned out positive – the implementation of AI Tutor has improved the user return rate 7 days after by 15%. At that, what’s curious and non-apparent is that AI Tutor had no negative influence on the communication between users and experts and the popularity of our Expert Chat. We have noticed that users kept talking to experts but addressed them with more complicated and sophisticated questions which AI Tutor couldn’t handle.

The Importance of Human Touch

‘This leads us to the thought that the human touch is a crucial component of an educational service like MathMaster. First, Generative AI algorithms are still not well-developed enough to solve complex mathematical tasks. Second, users prefer to trust live communication and tutoring with living persons,’ Mr Kushnir concludes.

The opinions of some experts indicate reluctance or hesitancy about using AI as a ‘solution prompt’ for students, including children, providing direct solutions. For instance, GIOS’ founder Nataliia Lemonova (who was a guest at one of ITKeyMedia’s podcasts) belongs to the hesitant camp.

Nataliya Limonova, Founder of GIOS

‘While AI-powered solutions may provide quick answers, they often prioritize rote solutions over fostering critical thinking skills. In my opinion, this approach may hinder rather than facilitate learning, as it discourages students from developing problem-solving abilities essential for the challenges of the 21st century,’ Ms Limonova tells ITKeyMedia.

‘We want to highlight that MathMaster cannot substitute math classes, but it can reinforce the math learning endeavors of students. We aim to make online education more efficient and affordable for children and students around the globe,’ Mr Kushnir argues.

Perspectives and Plans

The CPO is convinced that algorithms, AI implementations, and operational frameworks, particularly those of MathMasters, can be beneficial to online schooling as well. He believes that working with schools directly could be a step forward toward MathMaster’s vision of making math knowledge more accessible. Hence, the team is open to cooperation with schools, universities, or any other educational institutions.

As for the exact plans, the growing demand for learning math keeps growing dictates the following steps for the MathMaster team in the near future:

  • continue improving and scaling the app, constantly launching new product tests, and integrating more AI solutions to different aspects of the service;
  • scale and distribute the application not only in the States but also in the markets of Europe and Asia (as of now. MathMaster handles only English-language user requests, but the team intends to implement the automatic translation technologies of other popular languages to increase the number of users); 
  • analyze the possibility of expanding the range of the covered subjects by adding other STEM disciplines.

Such are Futurra Group and MathMaster’s steps toward their ambitious goal of becoming no less than #1 in the Math Q&A category in the USA and beyond and reach the status of the next Ukrainian edtech unicorn.


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