eJOY snags seed round led by ThinkZone to enable English learning via Youtube, Netflix in Vietnam
Vietnamese startup eJOY, which develops cross-platform apps to support English learners, has secured a “hundreds-of-thousand-dollars” seed financing round led by ThinkZone Ventures, a local early-stage venture capital firm.
BK Fund, founded by alumni of the Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST), also joined.
eJOY will use the capital to improve the product for intermediate-level English learners and expand to the beginner-level learner group. A portion of the funds will be used to test the same method of learning with other languages.
Besides the capital investment, ThinkZone Ventures will support eJOY in the development process through a network of experienced experts and partners. The total size of support packages is said to amount to more than US$150,000.
Leveraging BKFund’s university network, eJOY also intends to broaden its user base to college students across the country.
Founded in 2017 by CEO Diep Bui, eJOY creates a tech product that lets users actively learn English while watching videos on YouTube, Netflix, Coursera, and other platforms.
The tool serves as a plug-in to web browsers and allows learners to look up, collect and understand the context of new words while consuming video (with subtitles) or article content on the go.
The company boasts it has clocked more than one million users worldwide and 300,000 weekly active users. Non-Vietnamese learners account for 30 per cent of its user base.
According to a survey by Q&Me, 37 per cent of Vietnamese respondents spend an average of one to three hours learning a foreign language, with English being the most popular option (86 per cent).
The pandemic has boosted the Vietnamese edutech industry, which has seen a slew of startups raise capital in 2021. They included educational services provider Equest (US$100 million investment from KKR), AI-powered language app Elsa (US$15 million Series B led by Vietnam Investments Group), Educa Corporation (US$2 million Series A from Alibaba-backed eWTP), Marathon Education (US$1.5 million in seed funding), and CoderSchool (US$2.6 million pre-Series A led by Monk’s Hill Ventures).
By the end of 2023, the Vietnamese e-learning market is expected to be worth over US$3 billion, according to Ken Research.
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Image Credit: eJOY
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