There’s an significant gap in education within Vietnam between cities that have access to more resources as well as the smaller towns and rural regions where the majority of students reside. Edupia is an online education platform, is working to bridge this gap by offering live classes and tutoring for private students. The company today announced that it had raised a $14 million Series A, led by Jungle Ventures with participation from eWTP Capital (a venture fund that is part of Alibaba as well as Ant Financial) and ThinkZone Ventures. The total amount of Edupia’s funding up to $16 million.
Edupia currently has 5 million users, and 400 students who pay. Tran Duc Hung who started the company in 2018 to create an English self-learning platform, told the AP that Edupia is poised to reach its revenue goal of $100 million within 3 years. Most of its customers reside in Vietnam however, Edupia is expanding to additional Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar, and adding additional topics, such as programming and math.
Prior to establishing Edupia, Hung spent 10 years as the director of services for the digital age at Viettel the largest telecom company in Vietnam. There, he witnessed the way digitization was altering the way people live their lives which included finance, e-commerce healthcare, and education. In the same way, Hung tells TechCrunch, there was a gap between the resources for education accessible in wealthier, larger cities, such as private language centers and other regions of Vietnam particularly in English. Hung who’s family comprises several teachers was able to create an online platform that would provide English education accessible to all K-12 pupil.
When Edupia’s self-learning venture began to gain traction, the company noticed a need for additional ways to interact with students. The company began offering live classes in the month of March 2021. Hung explained that Edupia will operate both business models at same while using self-learning as the initial point of contact to users prior to their upgrade for classes, and even tutoring.
Students and parents can access Edupia via a variety of channels for example, its online advertising programs, school partnerships, the power of word-of-mouth and key opinion leaders (KOL) marketing. Edupia is able to reach all provinces via its national sales staff, and it was the first company on the market to develop an extensive network of small-scale KOLs (aka influencers) in various fields.
Although there are a variety of applications for learning English, Hung said Edupia does not directly compete with them since it aims to provide students with a similar experience as offline learning centers which have teachers who give homework assignments, assess students’ progress, and plan online activities that increase students’ participation. The closest competitions for Edupia are offline learning centers. However, unlike brick-and-mortar institutions it was able grow quickly across the 64 provinces of Vietnam. 60 students are placed in a learning group each teacher is able to supervise more than 2000 students across the country.
A portion of the capital raised by Edupia will be used for upgrading their tutoring system. The company is also planning to fill C-level roles and senior management positions as it expands and expands the expansion of its business internationally.