Korean Edutech Startup RiiiD becomes ‘SANTA’ for TOEIC learners

SANTA TOEIC app is a personalised learning app, which can be used anywhere, anytime. Pic: SANTA TOEIC ad

Korean Edutech startup RiiiD is paving the way for the future of the education industry with its personalised learning platform based on Artificial Intelligence. The Edutech startup’s application SANTA TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) gives customised solutions for boosting TOEIC scores based on a user’s learning behaviour.

Learning & Improvising based on AI-based technology

SANTA TOEIC is an innovative AI TOEIC learning solution that provides users with a personalised shortest learning path. The machine learning algorithm jointly developed by KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) and RiiiD’s AI research teams, analyses each user’s ability in real time to offer the most optimal—time-saving and cost-efficient—custom learning curriculum.

The service provides a diagnostic test which assesses a user within 5~10 questions and offers an estimated score. A personalised learning path for fastest score raise is then constructed for the analysed user and each question will be recommended in order of its efficiency. The user will be analysed in real-time while studying with Santa TOEIC and lectures will be offered every time a weak point is detected.

To prove the validity of the AI-based learning solution, the startup had conducted a score improvement study between 204 and 2017 with 1500 beta users. The users had studied an average of 7.4 hours with SANTA TOEIC and achieved a 56-point improvement.

SANTA had over 250,000 cumulative subscribers within six months of its launch in June 2017. The app had been selected as the best-selling app in the education category at the App store within three months of its launch. SANTA TOEIC is provided via mobile apps and web-based platform.

Vision to expand and revolutionise learning

In April 2018, the startup had US $10.77 million in its Series B round of funding. Venture Capitalists including Korea Investment Partners, Company K Partners, Partners Investment, Huayi Investment, ES Investor and NP Equity Partners have invested in the education startup.

According to sources, the company reached a break-even point just four months after it launched a paywall for SANTA for TOEIC. This helped it attain additional funding, most of which is to be used for research and development.

“We hope to reshape the education market to base it on technology, and not just trendy gimmicks,” is what the CEO of RiiiD Young jun Jang had said in a media statement.

SANTA had over 250,000 cumulative subscribers within six months of its launch in June 2017. The app had been selected as the best-selling app in the education category at the App store within three months of its launch. SANTA TOEIC is provided via mobile apps and web-based platform.

In 2016, the firm had received funds worth 2 billion won or US $1.7 million in Series A funding from investors including DSC Investment and DS Asset So far, Riiid has secured $15 million in funding in total.

The company owns 30 patents on its machine learning algorithm and other technologies in both Korea and overseas. The startup wants to accelerate its business expansion to more diverse areas.  Riiid expects to launch its TOEIC service in Japan and SAT service in Vietnam around 2019.

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