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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

AI English Speaking App ELSA Raises $23 Million in Funding! Developing Free English Conversation Feature with Generative AI

ELSA has completed a Series C equity financing totaling US$23 million!
This round of financing was led by UOB Venture Management of Singapore, with new investment participation from UniPresident of Taiwan and Asia Growth Investment Fund, an investment fund jointly established by Aozora Bank and Development Bank of Japan. In addition, the existing investors, Grassroots Investment Fund, Inc. Existing investors Gradient Ventures, Monks Hill Ventures, Globant Ventures, and Vietnam Investment Group also made additional investments in this round.

Purpose of this procurement round

1: Business expansion into untapped markets
ELSA AI Tutor, a free English conversation function powered by AI, will be deployed in new markets such as Taiwan, South Korea, and the Middle East to accelerate global expansion.

2: Additional investment in B2B market
We aim to build further partnerships with companies and school corporations in Japan and other markets that are eager to develop global human resources.

About AI English Conversation Service ELSA

ELSA (English Language Speech Assistant) is an AI personal coach application to help you speak English more correctly and confidently.
Since being funded by Gradient Ventures, Google's AI investment arm, in 2015, the company has been downloaded more than 50 million times in more than 100 countries worldwide. With its proprietary AI speech recognition technology, which has been named one of the top 100 AI companies in the world, and its generative AI technology with anonymous English speech data collected from over 34 million learners worldwide, learners can identify their individual speaking weaknesses (pronunciation, accent, intonation, fluency, vocabulary, and grammar) and receive optimized lesson plans for each individual.

ELSA's AI English conversation service has been adopted by major companies around the world, including Singapore Airlines, Intel, and Mercedes Benz, as well as institutions of higher education in Japan, such as Ritsumeikan University, local governments in Japan, such as Kyoto Prefecture In Japan, the system has also been adopted by higher education institutions such as Ritsumeikan University, local governments such as Kyotango City and Yuzawa City in Akita Prefecture, and private junior high schools such as Musashi, Sanda International, Seiko Gakuin, and Eikou Gakuen.

About the new ELSA AI Tutor service

The new ELSA AI Tutor feature is the first educational app that provides a fully immersive English learning experience by replicating a natural conversation with a human being, thanks to years of research and development in the field of AI speech recognition and generative AI technology with 200 million hours of anonymous English speech data.

The new ELSA AI Tutor feature reduces the need for face-to-face practice and allows for greater accuracy and fluency in English ELSA AI Tutor provides role-playing for a variety of situations. For example, you can practice simple conversations such as asking for directions, or more advanced conversation practice such as negotiating a raise at work, preparing for an interview, or giving a meeting or presentation, in scenarios that closely resemble real-life situations. In addition to the above, students are free to set up their own situations and practice conversations according to their individual needs.

After conversation practice, students can receive individualized feedback on pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, intonation, rhythm, and more. This feedback is stored for each learner, so that the next lesson can be based on the results of the feedback.

Comments from the Founder

Vu Van, Co-Founder/CEO
Through my original experience, I realized that my mission is to help non-native English speakers around the world become confident English speakers. I hope that the new ELSA AI Tutor feature will be a new option for English speakers who, for financial reasons, may not be able to study English in person.

Together with the ELSA team, ELSA's technology, and our investors who believe in ELSA, we want to make the new ELSA AI Tutor feature the global standard for becoming an English speaker.

Mr. Xavier Anguera PhDh, Co-Founder
We believe that speaking English is the most valued skill in the labor market. With the new ELSA AI Tutor feature, we believe ELSA will be the best partner to help you learn and practice natural English, making it the most powerful and accessible English conversation learning tool ever.

Comments from Underwriters

Asia Growth Investment Inc. Director Mr. Shotaro Noguchi (Dispatched Officer, Aozora Bank, Ltd.)
When I first heard about this procurement round, I was most impressed by ELSA's founding principles: the products that ELSA offers have steadily evolved and continue to provide further valuecreation and value-added services on a daily basis.
We strongly believe that ELSA will, without a doubt, be a fundamental game changer for English conversation learning around the world in the future.

Asia Growth Investment Inc. Director Mr. Tsugito Takeuchi (Dispatched Officer, Development Bank of Japan Inc.)
ELSA is a groundbreaking service that leverages AI capabilities to provide all learners with effective and affordable English conversation learning tailored to their proficiency level.
We have decided to make this investment in the hope that the expansion of this service in Japan will contribute to the improvement of English language education in Japan and, by extension, the country's economy and international competitiveness. The Development Bank of Japan, to which I was dispatched, aims to realize a sustainable society through its "GRIT (Green, Resilience & Recovery, Innovation, Transition/Transformation) Strategy," and the entire group will continue to support ELSA's innovation activities. We will continue to support ELSA's innovation activities throughout the Group.

Clarissa Lo, Executive Director, UOB Management Ventures
We believe that artificial intelligence will open new avenues for the education industry, and ELSA's affordable and personalized AI speaking solutions will enable users to improve their skills, thereby opening more job opportunities, especially in developing countries.
We are pleased to help ELSA grow in more markets, especially in Southeast Asia.

name of companyELSA Corp.
Location121 Day Street, San Francisco, CA 94131
representativeToshiya Tamaki
uniform resouce locatorhttps://elsanow.jp/
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