Korean Edtech Startup Databank Raises Us$2.7m In Series A Funding

Databank, A South Korean EdTech Startup, Recently Raised US$2.7 Million Series A Funding From Company K Partners, Intervest, & KB Investment.

By Jung Min-hee

Databank, A South Korean Education Technology Startup, Has Recently Raised US$2.7 Million Series A Funding From Company K Partners, Intervest, And KB Investment. The company operates TOEFLBANK, a global test prep solution for adaptive, equitable learning. Featuring automated grading powered by the unique “deep learning” artificial intelligence engine, the TOEFLBANK platform allows users worldwide to take Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) practice tests and receive immediate feedback.

Venture capitalists took an interest in Databank, thanks in large part to the state-of-the-art AI engine, a pillar of the company’s services. TOEFLBANK has captured the hearts of global users by providing automated scoring of spoken and written performance. The free and immediate scoring of open-ended responses starkly contrasts the three-day timeframe that it currently takes for human graders on other available platforms.

The most impressive statistic the service boasts is its ability to improve users’ test scores within a two-week period, four times faster than that of other services. As a result, the monthly subscription rate rose from 2,000 in June 2020 to more than 13,000 in January 2021, accounting for 300,000-plus ESL learners from 186 countries including India, Indonesia, and Pakistan.

The latest funding round will help the company solidify its presence in the English as a Second Language (ESL) market and fuel its growth. It boosted the company’s enterprise value to US$11.5 million, nearly seven times the value at the time of the seed investment round which took place only a year ago. Databank’s enterprise value potential can be maximized as the business ventures into the B2B market. Partnerships currently range from middle schools to university-level educational institutions.

The company appeals to a wide clientele base, from the average individual consumer to partnerships with other corporations. The company has been recognized for its strategic plan to continuously increase its user pool by expanding their services from TOEFL to other open-ended standardized tests including IELTS and GRE.

The company’s CEO Song Da-hoon says, “Currently, students are receiving a one-size-fits-all education when, in reality, each student’s learning curve is different. By providing an adaptive education program, AI serves as an excellent tool for both educators and students alike. This tool acts as a bridge, mending the learning gap amongst students worldwide, by making education affordable and thus, equitable.”

This news was originally published at Business Korea.

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