Monk’s Hill Ventures-backed ELSA, a mobile app that helps people to speak and pronounce English clearly, has raised $15 million in a Series B funding round co-led by Vietnam Investments Group and SIG, Bloomberg has reported.

Existing backers including Google’s artificial intelligence-focused venture fund Gradient Ventures, SOSV and Monk’s Hill Ventures also participated in the round.

ELSA, which stands for English Language Speech Assistant, was founded in 2015 and today has 13 million users.

Elsa co-founder and chief executive Vu Van said: “We wanted to go to Vietnam first because it’s where my heart is and I know how it can help people in my home country, but we have been setting out for a global mission since the very early days.”

Van added that the new capital will be used for the company to enter Latin America and to accelerate expansion across Asia this year. The company also plans to invest in its business-to-business platform by working with corporate partners across the world, and also to hire more talent.

ELSA is headquartered in San Francisco.

Date published: 1 February 2021

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