Vietnam has a large education gap between urban centers with access to more resources and small cities and rural areas where 80% of students live. Edupia, an online learning platform, bridges the divide with its live classes and private tutoring. The startup today announced that it has raised $14 million Series A led by Jungle Ventures in partnership with eWTP Capital (a venture fund under Alibaba and Ant Financial) and ThinkZone Ventures. This brings Edupia’s total funding to $16 million.
Edupia currently has a total of 5 million users, with 400,000 paying students. Tran Duc Hung, who founded the company as an English self-learning platform in 2018, says Edupia is on track to surpass its $100 million revenue target in the next three years. Most of its users are in Vietnam, but Edupia is also expanding to other Southeast Asian markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar, and is adding more subjects, including math and coding.
Before founding Edupia, Hung spent 10 years as director of digital services at Viettel, the largest telecom company in Vietnam. While there, he saw how digitization is changing many aspects of everyday life, including e-commerce, finance, healthcare and education. At the same time, Hung told Technology Flow, he also noticed a gap between private language centers and the educational resources available, especially in English, in big, affluent cities like other parts of Vietnam. Hung, who owns many teachers, saw an opportunity to launch an online platform to make English education accessible to every K-12 student.
As Edupia’s self-learning business gained traction, the team saw demand for more ways to engage with students and launched live classes in March 2021. Edupia runs both business models at the same time, Hung said, with self-learning serving as the first introduction. Point for users before they upgrade to classes and tutoring.
Parents and students discover Edupia through several channels, including its online marketing campaigns, school partnerships, word-of-mouth referrals and key opinion leader (KOL) marketing. Edupia reaches all provinces through its national sales team and is the first company in the market to build a network of thousands of micro-KOLs (aka influencers) across various industries.
While there are many English-learning apps available, Hung said Edupia does not compete directly with them, as it seeks to provide students with an experience similar to offline learning centers, with teachers assigning homework, assessing student progress and conducting online activities to increase engagement. . Edupia’s closest competitors are offline learning centers, but unlike brick-and-mortar schools, it has been able to scale quickly across Vietnam’s 64 provinces. Every 60 students are assigned to a learning group and each teacher can manage up to 2,000 students across the country.
Part of Edupia’s new capital will be used to upgrade its tutoring platform. The company also plans to hire C-level positions and senior managers as it scales and increases its international expansion.