Riiid, a Seoul, South Korea-based startup creating AI check prep options, in the present day closed a $41.eight million pre-series D financing spherical, bringing its whole enterprise capital raised to this point to $70.2 million. CEO YJ Jang says the funding will likely be used to advance Riiid’s expertise that provides customized research options primarily based on huge knowledge evaluation, and to bolster the corporate’s enlargement throughout the U.S., South America, and the Middle East because it establishes an R&D lab — Riiid Labs — in Silicon Valley.
The pandemic has compelled the shutdown of faculties in international locations world wide; cramped indoor school rooms are seen as a significant menace vector. Despite inequities with regard to web entry and the widening achievement gap, educators imagine the well being professionals outweigh the cons. Riiid, which gives its providers completely on-line, has benefited from the shift. The firm claims gross sales have grown greater than 200% since 2017 as over one million customers joined its group.
Riiid’s platform — Santa — is a cellular research assist for the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) English proficiency examination. (Unlike the better-known TOEFL or IELTS assessments, that are utilized by Western universities and schools as a part of their admissions course of, TOEIC is primarily utilized by employers to evaluate the English proficiency of potential hires.) Leveraging AI and machine studying algorithms, Santa analyzes responses to foretell scores and advocate customized overview plans. A meta-learning log with over 100 million swimming pools of data provides insights to assist Santa, in addition to Riiid’s different techniques.
Santa primarily lives on the net, but it surely’s additionally out there as a chatbot for good audio system from Kakao. In Japan, Riiid teamed up with sport developer KLab Langoo to design a mobile-optimized model of Santa.
According to Jang, the purpose is to assist obtain studying targets by steady analysis and suggestions relatively than particular prep. “The engineers called the app ‘Santa’ because it collects data on student performance in the way that Santa Claus famously keeps track of children’s good deeds and bad,” he informed VentureBeat through electronic mail. “We launched Santa in the Korean market, focusing on preparing students for the TOEIC exam because it was an easy target that would validate — or invalidate — our research findings. More than a million students in Korea and Japan have now used the Santa app and I can proudly report that it works. We raise scores by an average of 129 points out of a possible 990 on the TOEIC exam at a fraction of the time and cost it takes with traditional test-prep courses or personal tutors.”
After launching Santa in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, Riiid plans to pivot to backend curriculum options for firms, faculty districts, and training ministries. Earlier this 12 months, the corporate printed EdNet, a knowledge set of all student-system interactions collected over two years by Santa. Riiid can be increasing its platform to standardized assessments just like the SAT and ACT, and it claims it’s signed memorandums of understanding with prospects within the Middle East and U.S. (for instance, non-public training heart firm Point Avenue) to develop applications for particular programs of research.
Riiid’s newest funding spherical included an funding from the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), NVESTOR, and Intervest, in addition to from current investor IMM Investment. According to LinkedIn data, the startup employs about 80 folks.