QLL, a Taipei-based developer of educational mobile apps, has raised $450,000 in funding led by B Dash Ventures, with participation from Incubate Fund, Pinehurst Advisors, Viling, and Coent Venture Partners. The startup is an alumnus of accelerator program AppWorks.
Since its launch in 2007, QLL has developed about 150 iOS and Android apps, which it claims have been downloaded 6.5 million times in Taiwan and now have over 300,000 monthly active users. Its products include Pocket Chinese Tutor, which corrects users’ Chinese pronunciations, as well as several bilingual storytelling apps for kids. All of QLL’s apps leverage user analytics to deliver personalized learning sessions.
Now QLL wants to expand into international markets, including Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Canada, and the U.S. with an online platform that will allow educators to develop and exchange digital learning materials, even if they don’t know how to code. The platform will be available on multiple platforms, including mobile devices and smart TVs. QLL will first launch its apps in Singapore as a test market, before moving onto the U.S. and Canada, where it will seek local channel partners. In Indonesia, QLL will likely work with Huawei as a distribution partner.
The company focuses on apps for children aged two to six and has previously partnered with hardware makers like Sony, Huawei, Foxconn, and Fuhu to put its software on tablets, smart TVs, and smart watches.
Co-founder and CEO Lulu Yeh says QLL is comparable to Duolingo because the startup also focuses on language learning, but unlike Duolingo, which is geared towards individual users, QLL’s target market is educators and schools. It is also similar to Khan Academy in that it offers video content and tests, though QLL differentiates by focusing on Asian language courses, which Khan Academy currently does not offer.
QLL monetizes by licensing its content to businesses or online educators; through app sales and in-app purchases; and advertising (Yeh says QLL’s in-app ads currently get 10 million impressions per month).