Language platform Prep raises $7 million in Series A funding

May 03, 2024 | 14:10
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Prep, a Vietnam-based language learning and test preparation platform, announced that it has raised $7 million in Series A funding, co-led by Cercano Management Asia and Northstar Ventures, with the participation of Touchstone Partners, East Ventures, and Saison Capital.

This $7 million round will allow Prep to expand its team, further refine its learning tools, and expand into other language products and other countries.

Prep was founded in 2020 by CEO Tu Pham and CTO Nam Tran. On the completion of the round, Tu Pham said, “The ultimate vision of Prep is to enable every learner to feel as if they have a dedicated personal teacher and mentor to help them achieve their learning targets. This new investment is an important milestone for us in realising this vision”.

Language platform Prep raises $7 million in Series A funding

In a short time, Prep has scaled its user base to hundreds of thousands, and the number is still growing quickly. The company won the 2023 EdTech Asia Award and the 2023 SEI Impact and Innovation Awards thanks to their own proprietary AI technologies, including the AI-powered Virtual Speaking and Virtual Writing Rooms. These virtual rooms enable the company to scale quickly and at the same time deliver high-quality education at a fraction of the normal cost learners would have to pay.

Due to this comparatively low tuition, Prep now caters to not only students in big metropolitans but also the underprivileged ones in Tier 2 and 3 towns and cities. 95 per cent of these students experience score improvements in as little as two months, a crucial step for them to either get accepted to universities or secure their first jobs.

“Quality education made more accessible through technology has been a segment of emphasis for us. Prep’s application of technology to drive positive outcomes for language learning and standardised test preparation has been one of the best we have seen from the region. We are very excited to continue our support for Prep as they become a leader in this space, expanding their offerings for other languages and to other countries in the region," said MJ Yu, managing director of Cercano Management Asia.

“Our realisation of how English has gained prominence in Vietnamese higher education and workforce, combined with the proprietary AI-powered technology that the Prep team have been building over the years, has convinced us that Prep has what it takes to disrupt the language test prep market in Vietnam,” said Melvin Hade, managing director at Northstar Ventures.

All existing seed round investors of Prep chose to join in this new funding round. Tu Ngo, general partner at Touchstone Partners said, “We are honoured to be Prep's early partner and continue to work alongside it to fulfill its mission of bringing a dedicated personal teacher to all students, regardless of background”.

Wesley Tay, principal at East Ventures added, "We are glad to double down on our investment in Prep as Tu and the team continues to execute well and outperform. We believe that Prep will continue to play a big role in democratising the upskilling of talent in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.”

Language learning and test preparation is a massive market segment that is still growing in Vietnam. On the potential of Prep in this segment, Ziheng Li, vice president at Saison Capital said, “Growing up in China, I have witnessed first-hand the size of the test preparation market as I was learning English to study abroad. The online education market has been continuously growing and shows no signs of slowing down. We’re incredibly proud to back a market leader like Prep.”

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By Thanh Van

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