Chinese language learning startup T-Lab raises US$ 1.6 million in seed funding round led by East Ventures, targeting mainly the US and SEA market
September 24, 2021
T-Lab, an edtech company providing Chinese language learning targeting mainly the United States and Southeast Asia, announced earlier today that it has secured US$ 1.6 million of seed funding. The funding round is led by East Ventures with participation from K3 Ventures, Blue Elephant Capital, and Plug & Play. The fresh capital will be used to strengthen T-Lab’s research and development (R&D) division and enhance the curriculum for providing high-quality Chinese educational resources.
T-Lab conceived their idea when the founders realized that there is a serious Chinese language resource and market dislocation overseas. As of 2018, the number of Chinese learners worldwide has reached 180 million and kept growing up to 14.2% annually, while 95% of qualified Chinese teachers are mainly located in Mainland China. Therefore, offline Chinese teaching institutions cannot meet students’ needs in terms of quantity or quality. Students get poor learning experience and learning results at a high cost.
“Each region has different learning expectations. Meanwhile, offline and online learning institutions still lack authoritative professional experts to formulate, research and develop a complete system of teaching models for different national markets. Despite the mushrooming of online Chinese teaching institutes nowadays, there are still very few applications with AI courses that interact with students’ individual learning needs,” said Gin Zhang, Co-founder of T-Lab.
This opportunity prompted the serial entrepreneurs Gin and Phillip Zhao to create a cutting-edge Chinese learning platform, namely T-Lab Linnet Chinese, in 2021. They aim to leverage AI technology to optimize online learning experience for K-12 students, T-Lab teaching team, and parents. T-Lab’s core product, Linnet Chinese, is one of the world’s first AI+Live course teaching system that creates a complete closed-loop environment to ensure students achieve their goals.
AI gamification teaching stimulates students’ interests and allows them to enjoy and engage with the courses. The technology also adapts to the unique learning requirements of different countries and markets, as well as the individual physiological needs of students, making the learning process more customized. On the other hand, teachers can create interactive courseware and track students’ progress effectively by using the T-Lab-built learning management system (LMS). Parents can also monitor their children’s learning progress based on the performance analysis and study reports available in the application.
“We work tirelessly to prepare the best curriculum for Chinese learners anywhere around the world. We put lots of energy and a relatively long time into developing our R&D team, involving professionals and experts in their respective fields,” said Phillip Zhao, Co-founder of T-Lab.
T-Lab’s Linnet Chinese brings together founders’ strong genes in technology and education, alongside other strong divisions. First, the Education Research Team comprises top international Chinese teachers. Second, the Teaching Team consists of professors specializing in Chinese language at notable universities at Peking University and Beijing Foreign Studies University. Lastly, the Technical Support team is made up of a team of software engineers, with over 13 years of experience in the education industry from Silicon Valley and elsewhere around the globe.
“We believe in T-lab’s vision for joyful language learning since an early age and we look forward to supporting Gin and Phillip’s exceptionally diverse and talented team in their mission,” said Melisa Irene, Partner of East Ventures.
Moving forward, T-Lab aims to acquire more users to its platform and upgrade its product.