Speak Raises $16M In Series B-2 Funding To Expand To The U.S.


Language learning platform Speak has announced that it has successfully raised $16 million in a recent funding round, bringing its total funds raised to $54 million. The funding round was led by angel investor Lachy Groom, with participation from Dropbox co-founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. Speak, backed by OpenAI’s startup investment fund, the OpenAI Startup Fund, plans to use the investment to support its expansion into new markets, including a launch in the United States by the end of the year. The platform is currently available in approximately 20 countries.

Key Takeaway

Speak, an English language learning platform with an AI-powered tutor, has raised $16 million in funding to support its expansion into the U.S. market. The platform aims to provide English speakers with the ability to learn other languages through interactive speaking experiences.

A Unique Approach to Language Learning

Speak, founded in 2016 by Connor Zwick and Andrew Hsu, offers users an app for Android and iOS that facilitates conversational practice in English. The app provides a collection of interactive speaking experiences guided by an AI tutor, offering feedback on pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. Despite facing competition from other AI-driven language learning apps, Speak has established itself as one of the top education apps in South Korea, boasting over 100,000 subscribers and claiming to have helped nearly 6% of the country’s population learn English.

Integration of OpenAI’s AI Technology

Following an investment from OpenAI, Speak gained access to OpenAI systems and Azure resources from Microsoft, enabling the integration of advanced AI technology into its platform. In March, Speak upgraded its AI tutor using OpenAI’s GPT-4 text-generating model, enhancing the personalized and contextual feedback it provides to learners. The adoption of OpenAI’s Whisper API for multilingual speech recognition further improved the platform’s capabilities. Additionally, Speak collaborated with OpenAI on new plugins for ChatGPT, incorporating its language tutoring experience into the AI chatbot.

Speak’s Commitment to Low-Cost Language Education

One key aspect that sets Speak apart from its competitors is its commitment to offering affordable language education. Lachy Groom, the lead investor in the funding round, believes that Speak’s mission of providing learners with access to conversational practice through a human-level, AI-powered tutor without the need for expensive live tutors makes it a standout in the education sector. With the latest funding, Speak aims to further expand its user base and bring its language learning platform to more markets around the world.

Ultimately, Speak’s innovative approach and strategic collaborations position it as a leading player in the language learning space, poised to make a significant impact in the U.S. and beyond.

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