specifically for lucrative Asian English learning market, especially the Japanese market, OKPanda company developed language learning applications. The company recently ended the seeds of a new $1.6 million round of funding. The main purpose of the services provided by the application is through the provision of conversational English practice in Asian learners of English to make it easier to grasp the pronunciation of difficult problems, practice mainly includes real-time dialogue with your advisor.
leading a new round of financing is Resolute Ventures, in addition to the previous investors Innovation Endeavors, Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, participate in the financing and investors from Japan East Ventures and Beenos, and angel investors Matthew Romaine (the founder of Gengo), Jonathan Swanson (founder of the Thumbtack). OKPanda ended in February by the same company Resolute Ventures leading $1.4 million in financing, so the new seed round of funding will always expand to $3 million.
the startup by serial entrepreneurs at the end of 2012, the application developer Adam Gries and Nirvana Markus co-founded. Gries, said OKPanda company has been developing rapidly in Japan, this year brought about by the “great entry earnings” led to the new financing.
according to Gries, since December 2013 in Japan, its flagship – OKPanda English conversation application user has more than 450000 people. At the same time, its new application, Everyday English application in just three weeks after more than 125000 registered users. Main application of the function is to simulate dialogue, allows users to choose the topic of conversation, participate in practice grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. And Everyday English application is focused on by listening to English conversation to learn pronunciation.
Gries said: “there is not much high quality in the market now, have the depth the mobile learning English application, most of the application is simple to use CARDS and little difficulty, the varieties of a single game.”
this is a chance can build customer base. Our application started in December last year, alone in Japan, the iOS version 600000 installations. Great English learning for the Japanese this important market, this is unthinkable.
he added: “give you an example to explain the importance of the industry: in Japan, there are 1.1 million people to learn English, English conversation school on average cost $150 – $200 a month.”
OKPanda business model to cut the costs. Just $30-100 per month, learners can get all the digital services and different levels of real-time guidance reality.
Gries argues that, in addition to the cost, OKPanda provided by combined the characteristics of self-learning is unique, and these characteristics including speech recognition technology and real guidance. The application is using the Asian Line to transmit real-time communication software of English teaching. At the same time, we are going to increase the real-time video session as soon as possible.
Gries said: “in our system, the user can all use the same application to practice English, as long as they feel they need to, you can always send an instant message or will soon be online video message to a dialogue, and teachers. Will both together is key, because it will allow teachers to the students or the tangle of specific issues of concern to strengthen learning.”
“at the same time, it also created a kind of interpersonal relations, this relationship allows users to seek help and stick to your goal. Moreover, we are consulting experts agree that real-time communication is the key to achieve fluent language.”
Gries believe that other types of such as Duolingo, Babbel and Busuu such applications and service support only self learning, language learning and competing for example, the Open and Tutor Group. English language learning services focused on digital teaching and teaching, but not to expand their services to mobile phone applications. Therefore, OKpanda thinks he offers a unique combination.
the start-up companies in the field of English learning in Japan in the overall market size of funds in 6 billion to $6 billion a year. But it will also be important English business extends to other Asian markets, such as China, South Korea and Taiwan.