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Startups

AI edtech startup KidsLoop joins unicorn club

Korea's first startup founded by a foreign edupreneur to become a unicorn

By Aug 23, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

KidsLoop CEO David Roberts
KidsLoop CEO David Roberts

Artificial intelligence-based education is similar to self-driving cars, which select the optimal transportation routes for their drivers, according to David Roberts, the chief executive of South Korea-based edtech startup KidsLoop Co.

“AI-based education is like a self-driving car in that it can help students reach their destinations quicker and more efficiently," said Roberts, in an interview with The Korea Economic Daily on Aug. 23.

KidsLoop recently became a new unicorn company with its valuation reaching $1 billion in a recent Series C funding round. So far, the company has raised a total of around $80 million.

KidsLoop was founded in Korea in 2011 by Roberts, who drew much attention for being the country's first foreign edupreneur, or an educational entrepreneur. According to CEO Roberts, the country's education market dynamics is what drove him to launch a company in Korea.

“Korea is known for its education fervor -- extremely long hours and large amounts of money go into private education, making the country an attractive test market," said Roberts.

KidsLoop makes online learning solutions such as digital learning materials for students from ages 2 to 12 alongside providing student analysis reports.

“The platform's AI technology helps us gain a detailed grasp of each student's development process," said Roberts.

Roberts categorizes KidsLoop as a data-specialized company, adding that many Korean AI companies only focus on AI analysis and modeling, when it’s important to secure multifaceted data for accuracy.

Currently, KidsLoop collects data from around 3 million students across nine countries including Korea, the US, UK, Vietnam and India. The data is processed by the company's UK-based AI center to advance its algorithm and AI-related technologies. Currently, there are around 100 AI engineers working at KidsLoop.

Moving forward, KidsLoop aims to use its AI platform to increase its global presence in markets including India, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Write to See-eun Lee at see@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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