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Vietnamese CEO creates smooth-talking app for English learners

Silicon Valley startup uses AI and voice recognition to fix pronunciation

Elsa co-founder and CEO Vu Van in her Palo Alto office (Photo by Erwida Maulia)

PALO ALTO, United States -- Investors are pouring increasing amounts of money into startups either based in Vietnam or led by Vietnamese, with the operator of an app for English learners being one of the latest to attract fresh capital.

Elsa, a Silicon Valley-based startup established in 2015, raised $7 million last month in a Series A round led by Gradient Ventures, Google's AI-dedicated venture fund. The company has pulled in $12 million to date on the back of its Elsa Speak app, which helps people improve their accent.

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