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E-learning software company Surala enlists ninjas' help to grow in Asia

Japanese startup passes first big market test with TSE Mothers listing

Elementary school students in Bandung, Indonesia learn math using Surala Net's gamelike online software.

TOKYO -- Japanese online education company Surala Net is celebrating success. On Monday, it listed its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's Mothers market for startups as its learning software featuring "anime teachers" wins fans among students and educators in Japan and abroad.

Like the students it tries to help, Surala has struggled at times. At one point it was on the brink of failure. Surala began life in 2007 as a unit of an educational services company, but it fell into trouble amid the global financial crisis that struck the following year. It soon began running out of cash.

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