Vietnam Time

5/14/2019 8:54:24 AM

English learning app co-founded by Vietnamese raises $7 million

ELSA has raised $7 million in a Series-A round from Google’s AI Fund Gradient Ventures and other U.S. investors.

ELSA grew its business fourfold in Vietnam in 2018. Photo courtesy of ELSA.

The investment round for ELSA, a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence and speech recognition technology to help language learners improve their English pronunciation, was led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund.

According to tech news provider Engadget, the Google fund will also offer "technical mentorship" to AI startups. ELSA will gain access to Google itself, including prominent figures such as investor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, design mastermind Matias Duarte and X lab leader Astro Teller.

U.S. fund SOSV and Singaporean Monk’s Hill Ventures, strategic investment funds from the previous investment round, also invested in the app. In three years after its establishment, ELSA has successfully attracted $12 million through funding rounds in Silicon Valley, the U.S. and Asia.

CEO and co-founder Van Dinh Hong Vu revealed that this round of funding will help the startup continue to recruit computer engineers and computer scientists in AI, and to explore new markets like Japan, Indonesia and India.

ELSA currently has 4 million users from 101 countries worldwide, making it one of the top 5 AI applications with the most users. In 2018, the application recorded an increase in student enrolment by 350 percent over the previous year.

Vietnam has been the fastest growing market for ELSA. ELSA grew its business four fold in Vietnam in 2018 and expects to grow at a faster pace in 2019./.

 

  ( VNF/VNE )
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