The Korea Herald


Korea’s edu tech startup Riiid acquires Japanese mobile app distributor

By Park Ga-young

Published : Oct. 10, 2021 - 16:01

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Riiid logo (Riiid) Riiid logo (Riiid)

Riiid, a South Korean artificial intelligence-based education tech company, has acquired Langoo, the Japanese distributor of its service, in an effort to expand its business in the world’s third-largest economy, the company said Saturday.

The acquisition is coming less than five months after it secured $175 million in series D funding solely raised from Japan’s Softbank’s Vision Fund 2, and is part of the company’s broader strategy to expand through mergers and acquisitions, it said.

“By leveraging this investment, we will capture broader Japanese market opportunities. This acquisition is the first step in an inorganic strategy to ultimately apply Riiid’s AI technology to the global market and help more learners around the world,” said Jang Young-jun, co-founder and CEO of Riiid.

Since 2019, Langoo has been the exclusive provider of Riiid Tutor in Japan, where the app’s sales have since grown 400 percent annually.

“The exceptional capacity of Langoo in its local business with Riiid Tutor was the main reason for this acquisition,” Jang added.

Through the acquisition, Riiid is establishing a Japanese arm to address the local remote learning and education market, which was worth 288 billion yen ($2.6 billion) in 2020, a 22.5 percent increase from the previous year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said it plans to reinforce different business segments including marketing, sales and business-to-business services development in order to apply the product’s success in Korea to the Japanese market.

Riiid said it also plans to expand its service beyond the Test of English for International Communication to AI-based English speaking and English coaching services, in order to broaden its customer base.

Riiid is currently preparing or providing AI-based learning solutions to a variety of domains in more than 10 countries across South America, Central Asia and East Asia.