Speak Hits $500M Valuation, Expands Rapidly Across Markets

June 18, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO (June 18, 2024) – Speak – the AI language tutor – today announced that it has raised $20M in Series B-3 financing, doubling its valuation to $500 million USD in less than a year. Buckley Ventures led the round with participation from all existing investors (OpenAI Startup Fund, Khosla Ventures, among others) and new strategic investors Paul Graham and Jeff Weiner. The round brings total funding to date to $84 million. 

Disrupting the $100 billion+ online and in-person language learning market, Speak's AI language tutor builds a path toward spoken fluency without reliance on human conversation. Users gain fluency by learning speaking patterns and practicing repetition in crafted lessons, rather than memorizing vocabulary and grammar. Learners speak 1,000 times on average in their first week with Speak. Since launching in its inaugural market Korea in 2019, Speak now has more than 10 million learners in 40+ countries, with learners more than doubling year-over-year for the last five years.

“We've been solving this problem for the last seven years, and the most cutting edge speech-to-speech models are the final unlock in building a one-to-one alternative to human tutoring,” said Speak co-founder and CEO Connor Zwick. “This financing round will advance our investment in research and development as we double down on our voice-to-voice interface. With these new models, users will experience the speed, ease and natural flow of a human conversation, all while receiving subtle, nuanced real-time feedback on pronunciation, tone and more from our AI language tutor.”

Earlier this year Speak refined its speech recognition models with the brand’s proprietary audio dataset and released its latest benchmarks, resulting in an over 60 percent word error rate (WER) reduction and 20 percent speedup over existing commercial systems. The model is specialized to understand heavily-accented English speech from speakers across more than 10 native languages. Improved speech accuracy and faster inference times led to higher lesson completion rates, increased user engagement and extremely positive user feedback. 

“As an existing investor, I’ve had the privilege of watching Speak redefine language learning, seamlessly integrating cutting-edge content and technology to create a transformative experience for non-native English speakers,” said Josh Buckley, Buckley Ventures Managing Partner. “With rapid expansion across the globe last year accelerating hyper growth, Speak has cemented its position as the category-defining company in the AI learning space.”

According to a Speak learner survey, 94 percent of learners believe Speak makes it easy for them to learn English. From using Speak’s AI tutor to custom lessons, nearly six percent of the Korean population is learning English with the app today. With global learning soaring, Speak launched its English offering in Mandarin speaking markets, and introduced new languages – Spanish – to support North America & Europe. 


Speak is on a mission to reinvent the way we learn anything, starting with language. As the leading AI language tutor, the company’s core learning philosophy is to get users talking out loud as much as possible on the path to fluency. Between its AI language learning tutor and bespoke video content, Speak supports more than 10 million learners in 40+ countries. Speak is hiring across all departments. For more information, please visit www.speak.com.


Speak | Alexia Marchetti | press@usespeak.com

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