There is a big education gap in Vietnam between urban centers, which have access to more resources, and the smaller cities and rural areas where 80% of the students live. Edupia, an online learning platform, bridges that gap with its live classes and private lessons. The startup announced today that it has raised a $14 million Series A led by Jungle Ventures with participation from eWTP Capital (a venture fund under Alibaba and Ant Financial) and ThinkZone Ventures. This brings Edupia’s total funding to $16 million.
Edupia currently has a total of 5 million users, with 400,000 paying students. Tran Duc Hung, who founded the company in 2018 as an English machine-learning platform, said Edupia is on track to exceed its $100 million revenue target over the next three years. Most of its users are in Vietnam, but Edupia is also expanding into other Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar, adding more subjects including math and coding.
Before founding Edupia, Hung spent 10 years as director of digital services at Viettel, the largest telco in Vietnam. While there, he saw how digitization transformed many aspects of everyday life, including e-commerce, finance, healthcare and education. At the same time, Hung tells toptecheasy.com, he also observed the gap between the educational resources available in larger, wealthier cities, such as private language centers, and other parts of Vietnam, especially in English. Hung, whose family includes many teachers, saw an opportunity to launch an online platform to make English education accessible to every K-12 student.
As Edupia’s machine learning business gained momentum, the team saw the demand for more ways to interact with students and began live classes in March 2021. Hung said Edupia will run both business models simultaneously, with self-learning being the first point of contact for users before upgrading to classes and tutoring.
Parents and students find Edupia through various channels, including the online marketing campaigns, school partnerships, word of mouth and key opinion leader (KOL) marketing. Edupia reaches all provinces through its national sales force, and it was also the first company on the market to create a network of thousands of micro-KOLs (aka influencers) across industries.
While there are many apps for English learning available, Hung said Edupia doesn’t compete with them directly because it aims to provide students with a similar experience to offline learning centers, with teachers assigning homework, evaluating students’ progress, and organizing online activities to increase engagement. enlarge . Edupia’s closest competitors are therefore offline learning centers, but unlike brick-and-mortar schools, it was able to quickly scale up in Vietnam’s 64 provinces. Every 60 students are assigned to a learning group, and each teacher can manage up to 2,000 students across the country.
Part of Edupia’s new capital will be used to upgrade the tutoring platform. The company also plans to take on C-level and senior manager positions as it grows, and to ramp up its international expansion.