Manabie, a Vietnamese startup seeking to bring Japanese education to Vietnam, announced today it has closed a US$3 million seed funding round from investors including Do Ventures, Genesia Ventures and Chiba Dojo.
This follows a US$4.8 million investment round in April last year, led by Genesia Ventures which also featured prominent angels, including professional soccer player Keisuke Honda.
The funds will be used to enhance Manabie’s tech platform and further strengthen its school presence in Vietnam, a company spokesperson told e27 in an emailed response.
Founded in January 2020 by Takuya Homma and Christy, Manabie is an online platform that seeks to bring elements of Japan’s “high-quality” education to Vietnam. The company aims to achieve that through an operating model that merges online and offline learning, which it claims can maximise the efficiency of online-based education.
Besides a mobile app (which it claims has more than 350,000 downloads within a year of launching) that allows high-school students across Vietnam to study online, Manabie also has five learning centres in Ho Chi Minh City for students to receive guidance from individual counsellors.
Manabie said that these counsellors are a hallmark of the education system in Japan and other developed countries. They play an important role in guiding students to set goals for college entrance examinations and career choices; developing customised learning plans to best fit each student’s goals; and giving students advice to keep them motivated, both academically and personally.
The platform leverages Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to recognise the abilities and specific needs of each student, allowing it to design a tailored study program for each individual.
“Having studied and worked in Japan myself, I have always been impressed by the way the Japanese educational culture creates highly disciplined and independent individuals. Manabie has outstanding execution capabilities and is capable of bringing the quality of Japanese education, which has long been appreciated by the world, back to Vietnam,” shared Nguyen Manh Dung, General Partner of Do Ventures.
Regarding Manabie’s plans in 2021, CEO Takuya Homma said: “Vietnam is a market of opportunities for edutech as Vietnamese parents pay great attention to investing in their children’s education. Manabie hopes to be able to contribute to shaping a new educational method for Vietnamese students. We will continue to scale up the Manabie model, with a focus on improving the user experience at a reasonable cost to create positive impacts on the learner community.”
Image Credit: Manabie