Prep, a Vietnam-based language learning and test preparation platform, announced Friday that it has raised $7 million in Series A funding co-led by Cercano Management Asia and Northstar Ventures.

Prep said in a statement that the round also saw the participation of Touchstone Partners, East Ventures and Saison Capital.

According to the statement, this $7 million round will allow Prep to expand its team, further refine its learning tools, and expand into other language products and other countries.

Completing the round, Prep said it is committed to refining its proprietary technologies to provide even better personalized learning experiences for its growing user base while scaling and maintaining its profitability.

“The ultimate vision of Prep is to enable every learner to feel as if they have a dedicated personal teacher and mentor to help them achieve their learning targets,

“This new investment is an important milestone for us in realizing this vision,” said Tu Pham, Prep Chief Executive Officer.

According to him, although Prep being only four years old, it has scaled its user base to hundreds of thousands, and the number is still growing quickly.

He said the firm’s own proprietary AI technologies, including the AI-powered Virtual Speaking and Virtual Writing Rooms, enable the company to scale quickly and at the same time deliver high-quality education at a fraction of the normal cost learners would have to pay.

Due to this comparatively low tuition, he said Prep now caters to not only students in big metropolitans but also the underprivileged ones in Tier 2 and 3 towns and cities.

Prep is an online language learning and test preparation platform founded in 2020 by Tu Pham and his close friend – Chief Technology Officer Nam Tran.

Prep’s current offerings include personalized study plans, interactive learning contents, and AI-powered test and role-playing rooms.

“Quality education made more accessible through technology has been a segment of emphasis for us,” said MJ Yu, Managing Director of Cercano Management Asia.

“Prep’s application of technology to drive positive outcomes for language learning and standardized test preparation has been one of the best we have seen from the region,

“We are very excited to continue our support for Prep as they become a leader in this space, expanding their offerings for other languages and to other countries in the region,” he added.

Melvin Hade, Managing Director at Northstar Ventures, said that their realization of how English has gained prominence in the Vietnamese Higher Education and workforce combined by the proprietary AI-powered technology that the Prep team have been building over the years has convinced them that Prep has what it takes to disrupt the language test prep market in Vietnam.

“We are also excited to see how Prep would expand its offering, enter new markets and become a leading education technology company in Southeast Asia,” he added.

It is noted that all existing seed round investors of Prep chose to join in this new funding round.

“We are honored to be Prep’;s early partner and continue to work alongside Prep to fulfill its mission of bringing a dedicated personal teacher to all students regardless of backgrounds,” said Tu Ngo, General Partner at Touchstone Partners.

Meanwhile, Wesley Tay, Principal at East Ventures, said they are glad to double down on their investment in Prep as Tu and the team continues to execute well and outperform.

“We believe that Prep will continue to play a big role in democratizing the upskilling of talent in Vietnam and Southeast Asia,” he added.

Ziheng Li, Vice President at Saison Capital, also said that growing up in China, he has witnessed first-handedly the size of the test preparation market as he was learning English to study abroad.

“The online education market has been continuously growing and shows no signs of slowing down post-Covid. We’re incredibly proud to back a market leader as Prep,” he added.

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