Portfolio Review: Why we invest in eJoy and our take on education08/11/2021 In an era of immediate internet access and readily searchable knowledge, information is at our fingertips. Many things we learned at school start to feel a little irrelevant, why do we need to memorize something when we can just Google it? Education needs transformation, but how?
This has been the center of many discussions we have. As an early-stage investor, we need to think ahead of time and try to imagine how the future in the next 5-10 years will be like. Learning is a permanent need, but education needs an accelerated transformation, leveraging technology and internet access. These are the few notes we took about the future of education:
1. Active Learning
With the availability of information, learners are taking control of their own learning experiences, and teachers become more like mentors guiding along the way. Classroom dynamics change. Education no longer focuses on the teachers who teach, but on the learners who learn.
2. Continuous Learning
Half of today’s job could be automated by 2055. This is very different from what our schools were designed to serve. What we teach and how we teach will change. The learning shall not be limited to in-class learning but expand into other forms and contents. The world is evolving, and learning is not only for students but also for professionals to keep updated in their respective fields. Continuous learning and self-study are here to stay.
3. The role of technology
Education tools, powered by technology such as AI, provide a helping hand supporting learners consolidating knowledge and learning process, personalized learning experiences.
4. New learning experiences
Self-navigating and self-motivating can be a challenge when trying to create a new habit of learning. That’s why learning should be fun, engaging and learners should be able to choose the learning content that works for them.
We keep these thoughts in mind when finding our next EdTech portfolio. We have known eJoy for over 2 years now and we are eJoy’s users at first. With an innovative product concept, eJoy provides learners the power to choose the learning content and a learning experience powered with engaging games and quizzes. EJoy put foreign language back to its most fundamental function: as a key to enter the world, unlock learning materials or entertainment content in video format. You can use eJoy to study on Coursera, Udemy, or during your leisure time watching movies on Netflix or on Youtube. EIoy provides a package of mobile applications and online plug-in to the web browser. The plug-in automatically creates subtitles for any video content on the web, allows learners to look up the expressions in the dictionary, understand the context in the video and save them in the library for later practice with AI-powered games and quizzes. Learning a foreign language is all about memory retention so the game engine is a central part of the learning experience created by eJoy.
To put this product idea to work, the team has invested heavily in applying Artificial intelligence in Nature Language Processing and in calculating the repetition needed for learners to memorize certain expressions. This active approach to language learning has shown great improvements for intermediate learners which results in over one million users worldwide, 80% of them coming to eJoy organically! Looking into the future, eJoy will expand this learning methodology to other languages and explore the beginning-level learner group.
What strikes us when we first met the founding team is the passion they have for education and product development. The CEO - Diep, despite coming from a finance background, put herself through a formal accredited English teaching course to gain experience in English learning and teaching method. The team put a great amount of effort and time into testing different hypotheses about their users. It’s truly a learners-first approach which results in a very impressive organic growth of eJoy. This is also the first female-led startup in our portfolio and I’m so excited about that!
We are more than happy to get on board BK Fund from Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) as a co-investor in this round. We expect with the help of Hanoi University of Science and Technology, eJoy will be able to transform the foreign languages learning experiences of tens of thousands of university students and young professionals in Vietnam, help them unlock the learning content in English to further advance their knowledge in the field, raising the bar of our workforce.