Softbank-Backed Riiid Announces Acquisition of South Korean EdTech Qualson

Riiid Inc., an artificial intelligence (AI) education technology company backed by Softbank Vision Fund, announced the acquisition of Qualson Co Ltd., a leading English language learning and content provider based in South Korea. According to Riiid, Qualson owns and operates a popular business-to-consumer (B2C) English learning platform, including its flagship Real Class™, well-known for teaching real-world, conversational English using high-quality content from international media companies.

However, the financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Riiid, which uses AI to provide personalized learning and adaptive content delivery, will gain access to Qualson’s user base, content, and the English-as-a-second-language market with the acquisition. This would expand the company’s presence in the Asian test prep space, where its Santa app uses artificial intelligence to help users prepare for the TOEIC exam. The deal also allows Riiid to augment Qualson’s products in various ways, including incorporating its globally renowned “knowledge tracing” and “content recommendation” AI technologies.

Qualson, which began operations in 2012, has a diverse portfolio of language learning brands and is well-known in South Korea for collaborating with prominent public personalities to deliver premium Hollywood movie and TV show-based learning content. Users of Qualson’s products, including Real Class™, seek practical, daily English learning lessons and the ability to participate in live classes and watch video-on-demand (VOD) content.

According to the statement, Qualson’s Chief Executive Officer, Sooyoung Park, will take on a more significant role within the combined business as part of the transaction. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Riiid, started in 2014, operates several products based on its core AI technologies, including its flagship product Santa TOEIC™, an app that assists students primarily in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan in preparing for the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), and R.Test, a rapid diagnosis platform for the US market that assists students in assessing their expected performance on high stakes exams such as the ACT and SAT. The platform makes its core technologies available to other education service providers and public organisations through custom solutions and APIs.

The company also has a Llama-based large-language model called Sheep-duck-llama-2. Apart from Asia, it is also present in the US and South America. This is not Riiid’s first acquisition; in 2021, it acquired Langoo, a Japanese mobile app distributor. The firm raised US$175 million in Series D funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund the same year, bringing the total amount raised to US$250 million.

Riiid Inc., an artificial intelligence (AI) education technology company backed by Softbank Vision Fund, announced the acquisition of Qualson Co Ltd., a leading English language learning and content provider based in South Korea. According to Riiid, Qualson owns and operates a popular business-to-consumer (B2C) English learning platform, including its flagship Real Class™, well-known for teaching real-world, conversational English using high-quality content from international media companies.

However, the financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Riiid, which uses AI to provide personalized learning and adaptive content delivery, will gain access to Qualson’s user base, content, and the English-as-a-second-language market with the acquisition. This would expand the company’s presence in the Asian test prep space, where its Santa app uses artificial intelligence to help users prepare for the TOEIC exam. The deal also allows Riiid to augment Qualson’s products in various ways, including incorporating its globally renowned “knowledge tracing” and “content recommendation” AI technologies.

Qualson, which began operations in 2012, has a diverse portfolio of language learning brands and is well-known in South Korea for collaborating with prominent public personalities to deliver premium Hollywood movie and TV show-based learning content. Users of Qualson’s products, including Real Class™, seek practical, daily English learning lessons and the ability to participate in live classes and watch video-on-demand (VOD) content.

According to the statement, Qualson’s Chief Executive Officer, Sooyoung Park, will take on a more significant role within the combined business as part of the transaction. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Riiid, started in 2014, operates several products based on its core AI technologies, including its flagship product Santa TOEIC™, an app that assists students primarily in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan in preparing for the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), and R.Test, a rapid diagnosis platform for the US market that assists students in assessing their expected performance on high stakes exams such as the ACT and SAT. The platform makes its core technologies available to other education service providers and public organisations through custom solutions and APIs.

The company also has a Llama-based large-language model called Sheep-duck-llama-2. Apart from Asia, it is also present in the US and South America. This is not Riiid’s first acquisition; in 2021, it acquired Langoo, a Japanese mobile app distributor. The firm raised US$175 million in Series D funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund the same year, bringing the total amount raised to US$250 million.

, Softbank-Backed Riiid Announces Acquisition of South Korean EdTech Qualson

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