After raising $ 50 million in a SoftBank-backed funding round earlier this month, Seoul-based education technology startup Mathpresso aims to disrupt the traditional tutoring industry with artificial intelligence and plans to join more and more. South Korean companies listed on the stock exchange.
Mathpresso announced its investment on July 1, bringing the total funds raised for the startup to date to $ 105 million. Mathpresso co-founder and co-CEO Ray Lee stated in a video interview at the startup’s Seoul headquarters that it is now worth less than $ 500 million. Ray and other co-CEO Jake Lee (unrelated) are among the winners of the Forbes 2020 Asia Under 30 list.
Returning investors include SoftBank’s venture capital arm, South Korean gaming billionaire Quan’s Smilegate Investment Hebin and Legend Holdings from Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi. New investors include venture capital firm GGV Capital, Silicon Valley-based Goodwater Capital, and the Korea Development Bank. This $ 50 million round of financing is Jiyuan Capital’s first transaction in South Korea. Previously, Mathpresso raised US $ 14.5 million in 2019 and US $ 5.3 million in 2018.
Mathpresso was founded in 2015 and operates the Qanda mobile app (representing “Q and A”), where students can photograph problems mathematicians and applied artificial intelligence technology to find answers. The application uses optical character recognition technology to recognize text and mathematical formulas in photos. He plans to include other subjects like English and science.
According to the Mathpresso website, the Qanda app has solved 2.5 billion math problems for 9.8 million users in more than 50 countries. Since the pandemic caused the closure of schools, the number of users has increased fivefold. Besides Korean, the app is also available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Thai.
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The tycoons Chinese Internet users suffered 13.6 billion due to the collapse of the regulatory market The wealth of the dollar has fallen in South Korea and two-thirds of students use Qanda. According to the Korean Bureau of Statistics, South Korea’s extracurricular tutoring market, which is obsessed with education, is worth $ 8.1 billion.
With the latest funding, Mathpresso plans to develop algorithms to create personalized learning content and recommend similar questions to students. “We are in the early stages and we can read the overall level of each student,” Lei said. “At the same time, we really need to develop more, analyze the needs of each student and what they need to study in depth. This is what we want to focus on.
In January this year, Mathpresso and a dozen learning centers in Hanoi, the cooperation capital of Vietnam and renamed them to Qanda, providing offline courses and online courses. Mathpresso also plans to open one or two Qanda learning centers in South Korea for branding and research and development purposes.
Ray predicts that future tutoring will be a mixture of online and offline. “The education sector is just one of the sectors that does not allow too much transformation,” he said. “This is a bit traditional and conservative, and it may take a while to transition to more artificial intelligence or technology.”
Lei pointed out that this startup also has plans to go public. “We will definitely consider IPOs in the near future, but now we are at the stage of making monetization plans and spending time creating educational content for South Korea and Japan,” he said. “After these are more stable, I hope we will start to consider an IPO.”

By Peter

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