EQuest Education Group (EQuest), an educational services provider in Vietnam, has raised an undisclosed amount of investment from American global investment company KKR through its Global Impact Fund.
The fresh funds will be used to support EQuest’s expansion and advance its mission to provide students in Vietnam with affordable access to quality education.
Founded in 2013, EQuest operates a diversified portfolio across the educational sector in Vietnam, focusing on four core segments including K-12 bilingual schools, tertiary institutions, English enrichment courses, and digital learning solutions.
The firm offers iSMART Education, which provides programmes that enable students to learn English through Math and Science lessons, using digitised lessons and learning apps and platforms. These programmes are accredited by the Education Research Center of HCMC University of Education and have been running in almost 400 primary and secondary schools nationwide.
EQuest claims to have more than 110,000 students enrolled across its segments each year.
Additionally, Annabelle Vultee, the former China COO of Education First, has joined EQest’s board of directors. In the new role, Vultee will bring with her experience in the education sector across fast-growing markets such as China and the US.
“Access to high-quality education and intensive English-language training is crucial for Vietnamese students to achieve their full potential. By making the access affordable at a disruptive cost, EQuest is committed to delivering world-class education and bringing accredited, world-class curriculum to more Vietnamese students to improve their competitiveness in the global arena,” Nguyen Quoc Toan, co-founder of EQuest, said.
“Investing in Vietnam and supporting the growth of the country’s businesses and industries is a key part of KKR’s strategy in Asia. As Vietnam continues to elevate on the world’s economic stage, access to affordable, high-quality education solutions plays an important role in meeting the nation’s objectives. We are excited to invest in EQuest and to support aspiring Vietnamese entrepreneurs like Toan – as well as EQuest’s talented team – to help realize their vision for closing the education gap in the country,” Ashish Shastry, Head of Southeast Asia at KKR, remarked.
“We believe lifelong learning starts at an early age and EQuest is supporting the development of the next generation through its high-quality affordable education programs with strong outcomes. KKR aims to leverage our operational experience, global network, and education expertise to strengthen EQuest’s market-leading position, further build on its tech solutions, and implement industry best practices,” Chee-Wei Wong, Head of KKR Global Impact for Asia, added.
Vietnam has 17 million K-12 students, making it a massive market for edutech. Adding to that, with students made to stay home for months due to COVID-19 safety measures, home-based learning has become a big part of 2020, giving a boost to the edutech sector.
A few months ago, English Learning Speech Assistant (ELSA), an app that helps by using speech recognition technology to correct pronunciation, raised US$15 million in Series B, led by Vietnam Investments Group and SIG.
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