Vietnam’s emerging edtech startups

Across the globe, edtech startups, or education technology, is seeing big investment. As more educators and students begin to understand the benefits of engaging through online mediums, this is expected to significantly increase the demand for such learning platforms will soon increase. 

In Vietnam alone, there was an investment of $55 million USD in 2018, with 2019 due to show an increase to $150 million USD. Much of this funding and investment in edtech startups in Vietnam is expected from foreign investors as they see the potential in the country’s e-learning market and a growth of 50% is expected annually. 

Vietnam has 17 million K-12 students, making it a massive market for edtech. With an average spend of 40% of disposable income going to education, it is clear the Vietnamese take learning very seriously. In a world where quality education has not always been available for everyone, edtech startups are hoping to level the playing field.

We look at why Southeast Asia needs an edtech accelerator

So which startups are leading this growth charge? We take a look at five companies to watch this year. 

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Based in Hanoi, Edmicro recently gained pre-series A funding from Insignia Ventures Partners, a Singapore-based venture capital firm. This investment is helping them to develop further their “learning ecosystem called” to achieve their goal to “help more than 30,000 students practice and master what they’re learning each month.”

Edmicro focuses on personalised and micro-learning using their powerful AI engine to create shareable databases, assessments, and learning progress charts. It allows both the student and teacher to track progress while offering gamified learning to help keep students engaged. 

Everest Education

Tony Ngo and Don Le founded Everest Education in 2011 to help students prepare for international education opportunities. In 2019 they raised $4 million USD through Hendale Capital (Hong Kong), Viet Capital Ventures (Vietnam) and Nullabor (Singapore) in a Series B financing round. 

This injection of capital will help the company to continue its growth, developing its online platform and adding to its seven established learning centres. Everest Education currently offers programmes for primary, middle, and high school students through a combination of online and offline tuition and resources. This allows students to get the best of both worlds as they strive to secure places in elite boarding schools and top global universities, all through the medium of English. 

Topica edtech Group

Currently ahead in the funding stakes with funding to the tune of $50 million USD raised through Series B financing in 2018, Topica has evolved from its humble beginnings as Vietnam’s first business incubator in 2004. It has expanded to become a global company with platforms in the USA as well as in several Southeast Asian countries.

Offering online degrees, English speech tuition and startup accelerator programmes, Topica have links with many of the globe’s top universities and venture capitalists such as Insignia Ventures Partners have invested in some of the institute’s startups from the incubator programme.

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ELSA Speak

Following on from its 2018 funding of $3.2 million USD, ELSA (English Language Speech Assistant) raised $7 million USD in Series A funding early in 2019. This continued investment in the AI pronunciation app shows ELSA is a company to watch. 

Billing itself as the “World’s best English pronunciation app,” the company is proving popular, having achieved almost 4.5 million downloads to date and winning 4.5-star ratings from users. The app uses “short fun dialogues” and “instant feedback” to deliver pronunciation assistance to people in over 100 countries. 


Based on the knowledge-sharing model, Tesse offers access to interactive classes from teachers all around the globe. Recently, the local accelerator program, Vietnam Silicon Valley, showed its confidence in Tesse by investing in the company’s future developments. 

The platform allows education providers to host their courses and students to access them by downloading the app or using the website. Having selected the course they wish to study; the student can then enter the virtual classroom using his or her computer or phone to participate and learn. As lessons are live, interaction and feedback is instantaneous.

All of the edtech companies featured here bring different offerings to the continually developing education arena. Traditional education is not always easily accessible to everyone and edtech aims to open more learning opportunities to all. 

Whether you have a four-year-old learning to speak English through fun games or are an adult hoping to upskill to improve employability, there are online education platforms to help guide your learning journey and help you reach your education goals. The ease of accessibility and flexibility offered by such technology will ensure its growth for a long time to come. Vietnam is continuing to develop in this space and is one of the region’s biggest markets.

Source: Tech colective