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Education start-up gets major Japanese funding

Oct 01,2018

Classting, an education technology start-up, announced on Friday it had acquired a 4.1 billion won ($3.7 million) investment from Mistletoe, a Japanese venture capital company. Classting said the investment was a sign of the Korean firm’s potential to contribute to innovative education in Asia.

This is the first Mistletoe investment in a Korean start-up. The venture capital company was founded by Taizo Son, younger brother of SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son in 2013. He has invested more than $160 million of his personal assets in dozens of start-ups.

He is also famous for founding GungHo Online Entertainment, a Japanese mobile game developer.

Classting was founded in 2012 by Dave Cho, also known as Cho Hyun-gu, a former elementary school teacher. It began as a social network service app for communication between students and teachers and now is a commonly used platform in public education.

One out of two parents, teachers and students use the platform, which has more than 4.4 million users worldwide. The company plans to use the funding to develop services based on big data and artificial intelligence and expand into other Asian markets.

“We wish to become an edutech firm that represents Asia in the long term,” said Cho in a statement.

A combination of an early-stage venture firm, incubator and entrepreneur residency program, Mistletoe has said making an impact on society is its main mission.

In addition to the funds from Mistletoe, the Seoul-based start-up also raised 2.5 billion won from the Korea Development Bank. In total, the new investments that Classting has raised recently amount to 6.6 billion won.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]