K-12 Dealmaking: Singapore Language Company Raises $7 Million; Unacademy Could Reach Unicorn Status

Staff Writer

In the last two weeks, a number of business deals in the education industry have taken shape. Asia remains especially active, with at least four notable deals announced.

A Singaporean online language learning platform raised $7 million in Series A funding from a Chinese venture capital firm. A talent acquisition partner for Fortune 500 companies in India has announced a partnership with an Indian programming language platform to create employment opportunities for aspiring engineers and technology professionals. And Unacademy, an Indian company that focuses on preparing students for competitive exams, is reportedly in talks to raise another $100 million-$150 million in funding, which would put the firm in the unicorn club.

Denver firm receives $2.1 million, which could support education workforce hiring. PAIRIN, a technology partner for education systems, governments, and workforce programs, on June 3 announced the closing of a $2.1 million investment, a first tranche of a Series A investment round that will help support the company’s My Journey platform, which helps connect job candidates with hirers in education, state governments, and workforce agencies.

The investment will help PAIRIN as it plans to grow its workforce by 33 percent in the next year, with new hires in engineering, design, and project management roles, among others, according to the company.

Social impact investor New Markets Venture Partners led the investment, which also saw participation by New U Venture Partners, JFFLabs, and return investors Village Capital and Independent Spectrum LLC.

“This funding will allow us to accelerate rollouts and key features that help connect people to critical resources, education, and career assistance in an increasingly volatile job market,” PAIRIN CEO and co-founder Michael Simpson said in a statement. “The enthusiasm and support we’ve received from investors are indicative of the widespread need for this technology.”

LingoAce receives $7 million from Shunwei for Southeast Asia expansion. Singaporean online language learning platform LingoAce announced it has raised $7 million in Series A funding from Chinese venture capital fund Shunwei Capital, according to a TechInAsia article.

The startup has raised $3 million since a 2018 angel round and a 2019 pre-Series A round with Decent Capital.

LingoAce was founded in 2017 and helps students ages 6-15 to learn Chinese online, serving over 10,000 students across Asia, North America, and Europe.

The $7 million investment will be used to expand LingoAce operations in Southeast Asia, starting with Indonesia, and LingoAce plans to leverage emerging technologies including artificial intelligence and augmented and virtual reality, as it sees an uptick in online learning amid COVID-19, according to the article.

Unacademy nearing ‘unicorn club,’ working to secure $100 million-$150 million in funding. Indian ed-tech company Unacademy, which focuses on preparing students for competitive exams, is in talks to raise $100 million-$150 million in funding, which would put the company in the startup unicorn club, according to an article in India’s Economic Times that attributed the information to unnamed sources.

The unicorn club refers to startups that have raised more than $1 billion.

Less than four months ago, Unacademy raised $110 million in a round led by Facebook and blue-chip private equity firm General Atlantic.

Unacademy could close its next round by June or July, and is likely to be followed by “secondary transactions,” according to the Economic Times article.

The company has over 90,000 active subscribers who are tutored via livestream by more than 14,000 educators.

Finnish provider of English-language learning resources raises $800,000. Playvation, a Helsinki-based provider of children’s early language learning resources, has raised about $800,000 from Finnish education-focused venture capital firm Sparkmind.vc.

The investment will support the planned rapid international growth of Moomin Language School, Playvation’s core product.

The company said it intends to use the investment to significantly expand in European and Asian markets, and to make key hires to strengthen global sales and marketing.

“This investment from Sparkmind.vc enables us to ramp up and deliver our global commercial strategy,” Playvation CEO Anu Guttorm said in a statement. “We’re excited to work with them to prove the scalability of our proposition and show what we can do on the global stage.”

UK ed-tech startup raises $624,000. London-based startup Tech Will Save Us, which provides hybrid online and offline learning experiences, has raised about $624,000 with commitments from hundreds of private investors via a Seedrs campaign, according to an article by EU-Startups.

The company is currently backed by Initial Capital and ed-tech-focused BrightEye Ventures.

Founded in 2012, Tech Will Save Us provides make-it-yourself kits and digital tools to help kids make, play, code, and invent using technology.

“We’d very much like to thank all of our new investors for their support,” Tech Will Save Us co-founder and CEO Bethany Koby told EU-Startups. “Education has forever been changed by the lockdown and we are hugely excited to be accelerating our plans for home learning clubs as parents increasingly look for ways to inspire learning and prepare their kids for the future.”

Indian talent acquisition firm enters into partnership with ed-tech firm Coding Ninjas. Talent500, a talent acquisition partner for Fortune 500 companies in India, has entered into a partnership with Coding Ninjas, which offers courses in technology and skilling, to create employment opportunities for aspiring engineers and technology professionals, according to an article in the Economic Times.

All successful and qualified graduates from Coding Ninjas will have the opportunity to apply for exclusive opportunities on Talent500, after which AI-based algorithms will match candidates’ profiles to job requirements and select the ones that best fit the role, according to the article.

“The collaboration will help us identify the right opportunities based on geography with a strong distribution of our services in the corporate sector,” Coding Ninjas co-founder Ankush Singla told the Economic Times. “Together we hope to bridge the skill gap between the leading [multinational corporations] and also scale the hiring process for students in the IT and technology companies.”

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2 thoughts on “K-12 Dealmaking: Singapore Language Company Raises $7 Million; Unacademy Could Reach Unicorn Status

  1. Good website! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  2. Yes it’s better to learn a language from different perspectives. The listening and speaking are not difficult for me, but the reading and writing are really hard. And I am 17 this year and try to go China next year. I have taken the live online lesson to learn it for nearly one year, by real communication with a native-Chinese teacher from eChineseLearning. https://bit.ly/3gBh7UX As a result, it is good. If interested on Mandarin, I suggest to have a try.

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