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AI Education Startup Riiid Seeks Worldwide Expansion After New Funding Round

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The South Korean-based AI education startup Riiid has announced that the company raised $41.8 million in a pre-Series D funding round. The new investment, which includes the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDP), NVESTOR, Intervest, and existing investor IMM Investments, brings the company’s total funding up to $70.2 million.

According to the company, the funding is another indicator of its success, with over 200 percent annual sales growth and more than a million users since 2017. 

Mobile Test Prep

One of Riiid’s biggest contributions to the field of education is a mobile test prep application called Santa. The application focuses on the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), and it has been used by more than one million students in Korea and Japan.

The company’s proprietary AI technology has helped launch it to No. 1 in sales among education apps in both Korea and Japan. The AI is able to provide analysis of student data and content, predict user behavior and scores, and what may be its most impressive feature is the ability to recommend personalized study plans in real-time. The use of personalized lessons has been regarded by many as one of the most effective approaches to education. 

Overseas Expansion

With the company’s success in the Santa application, it will now look to provide back-end solutions all across the globe for companies, school districts, and education ministries. 

Y J Jang is Riiid’s CEO. 

“Riiid successfully completed domestic funding amid a slower investment environment due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and has made significant progress in negotiating with overseas financial investors to accelerate global expansion,” said Jang. “Riiid is already in the process of forming various global partnerships based on its verified AI technology in both academic and commercial markets, and will soon unveil new products and services. We are committed to creating a future for education beyond our imagination through in-depth R&D and commercialization of technology.” 

The company will use the secured funding to improve the company’s deep learning technology even further. One of its goals is to provide solutions that help students achieve learning objectives throughout the entire education process, not just for specific tests or tasks. This would be done through constant evaluation and feedback. 

The company will also look to continue its expansion outside of South Korea, moving into the United States, South America, the Middle East, and other areas of the world. The company has recently opened up Riiid Labs in Silicon Valley, which acts as the global headquarters of the company. 

“Riiid is establishing a global standard while defining valid technologies and leading researches in the field of AI EdTech,” said Intervest Director, Jay Jeon. “At a time when the need for effective remote learning solutions is expanding not only in the education market but also in various industries, the investment was made highly valuing the marketability of Riiid’s proven business model in Santa, excellent talent pool, and various global partnerships that are underway based on a scalable technology structure.”  

Riiid also contributes to AI research and publishes papers at top AI conferences such as Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), the International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU), and others. 

The company also launched EdNet in early 2020, which is the world largest open database for AI education.


Alex McFarland is an AI journalist and writer exploring the latest developments in artificial intelligence. He has collaborated with numerous AI startups and publications worldwide.