#Asia ‘AI English teacher’ gets $100m


edtech China education classroom

A classroom in Xingtai city, Hebei province, China. Photo credit: dewater / 123RF.

A Chinese language learning startup that specialises in AI and has 45 million registered students has secured US$100 million in funding to help it grow.

With its AI English teachers, Liulishuo is different from the dozens upon dozens of other education startups in China. Built by Wang Yi, a former Google product manager, the service uses artificial intelligence to assess a student’s English-speaking ability and analyze their learning needs in order to create a tailor-made online teaching program.

The US$100 million funding round, announced yesterday by the startup and reported today by DealStreetAsia, comes amid a flood of cash for educational startups from investors icluding Chinese web giants like Alibaba and Tencent.

The company says it has about 600,000 paying users and turned profitable earlier this year. There are also some free lessons available, which help the startup gather a mountain of data for the AI to mine.

Liulishuo’s series C funding was led by China Media Capital and Wu Capital, with all its earlier investors – Trustbridge Partners, IDG Capital, GGV Capital, Cherubic Ventures, and Hearst Ventures – also contributing some cash.

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