ELSA Asia Education & Talent

Vu Van Transforms AI-Powered Language Learning in Vietnam and Around the World

More than 1.5 billion English learners across the world seek to speak English fluently with clear pronunciation and confidence. ELSA uses proprietary AI, speech recognition technology, and real-time feedback to help language learners improve their English fluency.

ELSA serves over 13 million customers worldwide and has been downloaded over 574,382 times in the last 30 days with a 21.09% monthly download growth.

While pursuing her master’s degree at Stanford, founder Vu Van discovered that she was oftentimes disregarded for her mispronunciation of English words given her strong Vietnamese accent. She soon found that this was a problem faced by many students and professionals who were non-native English speakers. Vu worked with Xavier Anguera, co-founder and CTO, to launch ELSA in 2015 as an AI-powered one-on-one tutor for English language learners.

ELSA is the only platform that has the technology to pinpoint individual syllable and phoneme level mistakes as well as fluency and intonation. After just three months of usage, 90% of ELSA users have better pronunciation, 95% are more confident, and 68% speak more clearly. The app is available on IOS and Android, and with users from 101 countries, ELSA has offices throughout the world including Vietnam, India, Portugal, Japan, and Indonesia.

ELSA joined Endeavor in 2020 at a critical inflection point with plans to accelerate international expansion, penetrate new markets, and solidify global partners.

Following the virtual international selection panel (vISP) in which Vu was selected, Endeavor panelist and fellow Endeavor Entrepreneur, Martin Migoya (CEO, Globant), took great interest in the business model. He advised on ELSA’s strategic operational plans and personally led investment with Globant. In addition, Endeavor sparked a connection between Vu and David Do of VIG, also an Endeavor panelist, who then led VIG’s notable investment in ELSA’s Series B raise, which also included Endeavor Catalyst.

Vu has benefited from Endeavor’s top-notch mentor network around the world to support her growth strategy. She had the unique opportunity to present at an Endeavor Board Meeting, where she pitched ELSA’s business model to renowned individuals in the Endeavor Community like Reid Hoffman, and also leveraged the network in Brazil and throughout Asia to support ELSA’s expansion plans. Endeavor also assisted ELSA in recruiting top talent to ensure delivery of these high-level operations.

Founders like Vu exemplify what it means to be a true Endeavor Entrepreneur. She is committed to giving back to the Endeavor community and has led the way as a successful and motivated female entrepreneur. She currently stands as an Endeavor Outlier, representing Endeavor’s top-performing companies.

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