Elsa, a San Francisco, CA-based smart AI English pronunciation assistant, secured $7M in Series A funding.
The round was led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund, with participation from previous investors Monk’s Hill Ventures and SOSV. In conjunction with the funding, Zachary Bratun-Glennon, Partner at Gradient Ventures, is joining Elsa’s board.
The company inrends to use the funds to expand into new markets, such as Japan, where it will open an office, Indonesia and India, and hire additional AI scientists and engineers to expand its AI and speech recognition capabilities.
Founded in 2015 by Stanford alum Ms. Vu Van, and Dr. Xavier Anguera, Elsa is a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence and speech recognition technology to allow language learners to improve their English pronunciation.
The company has built its own proprietary speech technology using deep learning and AI to detect people’s pronunciation mistakes with 95%+ accuracy. The app listens to the way language learners pronounce words, sentences or conversations to pinpoint exact errors and provide real-time, accurate feedback on their pronunciation mistakes with specific suggestions on how to improve.
Elsa, currently used by 1.5 billion English language learners across the globe, will also introduce new social features to foster community-based learning and build out more advanced AI capabilities to evaluate other speech elements like rhythm and intonation for a more complete evaluation of learner’s speech.
The company also has offices in Portugal and Vietnam.