Asia Business Channel

Vietnamese startup raises $7 million in investment from Silicon Valley


Elsa Speak, an English learning application, has successfully raised US$7 million in funding from Google and Silicon Valley in the US. The successful capital call raises Elsa Speak’s total investment capital to $12 million from well-known funds in Silicon Valley and Asia.

The latest funding came from Gradient Ventures, a venture capital fund that has previously invested in artificial intelligence (AI) companies and is aiming at providing financial support and technological advice to startups in the field of AI.

Zachary Bratun-Glennon, partner at Gradient Ventures, said Elsa was a fun and effective language learning solution for learners globally. Viet Nam was the fastest growing market for Elsa Speaks, having grown by more than 400% in 2018.

Van Dinh Hong Vu, CEO of Elsa Speak, said that this round of funding would help Elsa accelerate its development speed and explore new markets such as Japan, Indonesia and India. "We were eager to work with experts from Google to continue developing a team of technology talents, as well as advanced AI features to meet the learners’ needs all over the world," she said.

Vu added that she would use the new capital to recruit computer engineers and scientists in the field of AI and open a representative office in Tokyo. Elsa would also introduce new features, promote community-based learning and build more advanced AI features to assess and train other speaking elements such as rhythm and intonation by the end of this year.



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