South Korean AI-based teaching startup Riiid has acquired its Japanese distribution partner Langoo to expand its operations in the country.
The acquisition came after Riiid raised $ 175 million in a Series D funding round from Softbank’s Vision Fund 2 in May 2021.
Since 2019, Langu has been serving Riiid Tutor in Japan. Riiid Tutor, formerly known as Santa TOEIC, is an AI-based test prep app for International Communications for International Communication (TOEIC) tests-proficiency tests for non-native English speakers. Riiid claims that the Riiid Tutor app has been downloaded by more than 2.5 million users in South Korea and Japan. It claims that since tapping in Japan in April 2019, the Riiid Tutor app has shown strong marketability and has become the highest-earning learning app on the Android App Store in the first week of the paid app launch.
Commenting on the acquisition, Riiid co-founder and CEO YJ Jung said in a statement,
“The main reason for this acquisition was the exceptional capability of Langu in its local business with Riiid Tutor. The strength of Riiid is our scalability and ability to apply our technology anywhere, regardless of region, language and domain. Taking advantage of this investment, we will The Japanese market opportunity. This acquisition is the first step in an inorganic strategy that ultimately applies Riiid’s AI technology to the global market and helps more learners around the world. “
Following the acquisition, Riiid plans to expand its Japanese operations by establishing a local corporate body and focusing on localizing its operations in view of the growing potential of the country’s online education market. In addition to TOEIC Solutions, the company has expanded its business to include AI-based English speaking and teaching services, expanding its customer base.
According to the Yano Research Institute of Japan, the remote learning industry in Japan was approximately 288 billion yen ($ 2.6 billion) in 2020, an increase of about 22.4% over the previous year. Demand for this specialty has grown significantly as a result of recent corporate scandals.
Riiid plans to enter other international regions, including Central and East Asia, once it enters the Japanese market.
Riiid has been actively entering the global market since 2020 after establishing an office in Silicon Valley. The company also has users in Vietnam and Taiwan and recently signed a partnership agreement with AI EdTech in India to provide AI based technology services in India. According to reports, the company is preparing to open an R&D center in Canada.
Beyond the TOEIC mobile app, Riiid also launched the ACT Prep mobile app in early 2021 with ConnectMe Education in Egypt, Turkey, UAE, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. It also unveiled the GMAT beta version in 2021 in partnership with Kaplan, first targeting the Korean market.
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