Get ready language learners, because Speak, an English language learning app backed by OpenAI, just raised $16 million in funding to expand its platform to the U.S. The app, which already has a strong presence in South Korea and other countries, offers interactive speaking experiences guided by an AI tutor. With the new funding, Speak plans to launch in more major markets around the world and provide English speakers the opportunity to learn other languages. By leveraging OpenAI’s advanced technology, Speak has gained a competitive edge in the language learning app market and aims to offer affordable language education to learners globally.
Speak raises $16M in funding
Speak, an English language learning platform, has secured $16 million in a Series B-2 funding round. The funding was led by angel investor Lachy Groom, with participation from the co-founders of Dropbox, Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. This brings Speak’s total funding to $54 million. The funding will be used to support the company’s expansion into new markets, including the United States, by the end of the year. Currently, Speak is live in approximately 20 countries, including Japan, Taiwan, Germany, France, Brazil, and Mexico.
“It’s been incredible to see that the learning experience we spent years honing in a single market, South Korea, has proven to resonate with almost no modifications needed in markets and cultures across the globe,” said CEO Connor Zwick. “Looking ahead, we plan on bringing our AI-powered tutor to most major markets around the world by the end of this year, and are gearing up for a launch in the U.S., offering English speakers the ability to learn other languages.”
Expansion plans to the U.S.
Speak has ambitious plans to launch in the United States by the end of the year. The company aims to bring its AI-powered tutor to major markets worldwide in the coming months. With its current presence in around 20 countries, Speak is well-positioned to introduce its language learning app to a wider audience. The company’s focus on providing interactive speaking experiences and personalized feedback has already earned it a strong user base and success in South Korea.
Founding and background of Speak
Speak was founded in 2016 by Connor Zwick and Andrew Hsu. Zwick, with a background in edtech, had previously sold his startup, the flashcard app Flashcards+, to Chegg in 2013. Hsu, on the other hand, brings expertise in neuroscience to the company. The co-founders met through The Thiel Fellowship and spent a year studying and researching machine learning before starting Speak. They developed accent detection algorithms using YouTube videos as training data, laying the foundation for their language learning app.
Features and success of Speak’s app
Speak’s app is available for both Android and iOS platforms, allowing users to practice their conversational skills in English. The app offers interactive speaking experiences and engages users in open-ended conversations with an AI tutor. Users receive feedback on their pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, enabling them to improve their language skills effectively. Despite fierce competition in the language learning app market, Speak has achieved significant success in South Korea, becoming one of the top-downloaded education apps. The app has helped nearly 3 million people in Korea learn English.
Integration of OpenAI technology
Speak’s partnership with OpenAI has allowed the company to leverage advanced technology to enhance its language learning app. The investment from OpenAI granted Speak access to OpenAI systems and resources, which the company utilized to upgrade its AI tutor. Speak integrated OpenAI’s GPT-4 text-generating model into its app, enabling highly personalized and contextual feedback for learners. This advanced text generation capability enhances user engagement and leads to better learning outcomes. Additionally, Speak adopted OpenAI’s Whisper API for multilingual speech recognition and collaborated with OpenAI on new plugins for ChatGPT. This collaboration represents Speak’s first foray into teaching languages beyond English.
Speak’s commitment to low-cost language education
One of the key differentiators for Speak in the language-tutoring app market is its commitment to providing low-cost language education. The company’s AI-powered tutor offers conversational practice at an affordable price, allowing learners around the world to access high-quality language instruction without the need for expensive live tutors. Speak recognizes that education is undergoing significant transformation through AI technology, and the company aims to democratize language learning by making it accessible to all.
In conclusion, Speak’s recent funding round and partnership with OpenAI position the company for further growth and expansion. The app’s interactive speaking experiences, personalized feedback, and commitment to low-cost language education have already made it a top player in the market. With its upcoming launch in the United States and plans to enter major markets worldwide, Speak is poised to revolutionize language learning on a global scale.