The English language learning platform Speak, which is supported by artificial intelligence (AI), announced on Thursday that it has secured $16 million in new funding, led by VC Lachy Groom.
The OpenAI Startup Fund and new strategic investors like the founders of Dropbox, Drew Houston, and Arash Ferdowsi joined all existing major investors in the round.
Speak will be able to hire new talent to support our availability in newer markets, continue our expansion into international markets, and accelerate the development of our superhuman AI Tutor with the help of this funding.
“It’s been incredible to see that the learning experience we spent years honing in a single market, South Korea, has proven to resonate with almost no modifications needed in markets and cultures across the globe,” said CEO Connor Zwick. Looking ahead, we plan on bringing our AI-powered tutor to most major markets around the world by the end of this year, and are gearing up for a launch in the United States, offering English speakers the ability to learn other languages.
Founded in San Francisco, they have exclusively focused on South Korea and invested in an app that changes English learning and speaking. Nearly 6% of Koreans use Speak for educational assistance because they value education and educators.
They are proud to be Apple’s South Korean App Store’s top “Education app.” In 2023, they expanded internationally to over 20 countries, including Japan, Taiwan, Germany, France, Brazil, Mexico, and others.
“Education will continue to be a sector most profoundly transformed by AI. The most effective approach to learning is through one-on-one human tutoring. There are far fewer teachers than learners, meaning this type of solution isn’t cheap and doesn’t scale. Speak’s mission and approach to create a human-level, AI-powered tutor gives learners around the world access to conversational practice without paying a premium for a live tutor on the other end,” said investor Lachy Groom.
According to its website, the OpenAI Startup Fund is seeking early-stage startups in industries like healthcare, climate change, and education. It is investing $100 million in AI companies. Microsoft and other OpenAI partners are among the fund’s shareholders.
Speak creates language-learning applications that enable you to practice genuine conversations without a live tutor on the other end. Backed by some of the most well-known investors in the world including Y Combinator, Open AI, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Matrix Partners, and more.