On May 24, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 announced exclusively investment of USD 175 million in Riiid, a South Korean AI tutor company. With more than 2.5 million student users in South Korea and Japan, Riiid provides English proficiency tutoring and test preparation services through an app called Santa. Riiid also cooperates with third parties to provide exam preparation services. For example, Riiid collaborated with Kaplan to help Korean students prepare for the GMAT.
The investment in Riid shows that SoftBank is continuing its bets in AI. Last year, thee conglomerate announced a record loss of $18 billion on Monday, which was in large part due to the collapse of valuations of companies such as Uber and WeWork. In July 2019, SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son announced plans to establish a USD 108 billion “Vision Fund 2” to dedicate investments in artificial intelligence. The SoftBank Group had pledged USD 38 billion to the Vision Fund 2.