If you were forwarded this newsletter, and would like to receive it in the future, subscribe here!
We all learn differently. Some of us learn better through the written word; others through pictures; others through listening.
Last summer, I wrote about this in the context of education technology; how, through accounting for the different ways we learn, AI is transforming the future of education.
In that newsletter, I mentioned a Korean education start-up, Riiid. By observing user behaviour, Riiid’s AI tailors education content to the individual’s learning style.
Riiid initially came to my attention through our search engine. As a result of high user numbers and significant media coverage, Riiid jumped up our edtech rankings. We shared Riiid with some investors in Europe last September, showing these milestones:
This company was the first Korean start-up we shared with our investor network. We didn’t get any bite, but separately from us, Softbank started looking. Today, as the sole investor, Softbank has put US$175Mn into Riiid. This puts Riiid squarely on the global start-up map. Together with the Coupang IPO earlier this year, it’s a huge endorsement of what’s happening in the Korean start-up world.
Riiid’s impact on nr2 has been significant. When I wrote that newsletter last summer, I was wondering: How can we use our own AI to ensure we deliver information on companies like Riiid as soon as the search engine flags it? Today, in a slight twist of fate, we have an answer to that question.
If you’re a registered user of our search engine who’s shown an interest in AI and/or education, you will have received an e-mail about the Riiid news already. That e-mail didn’t come from me. That e-mail came from our AI.
So is this a new feature?
Yes! This is the first step towards giving the power of our AI to all registered search engine users. We are programming our AI to identify news you might be interested in and to send it directly whenever it happens. Our AI, which is called Theia, is going to make well-intentioned mistakes over the next few weeks, but the aim is to send you things as quickly as the data emerges.
One size does not fit all
The phrase ‘AI’ is becoming meaningless. Let me explain what I mean, using education as an example.
Let’s go back to education as a concrete example. When a classroom has more than 30 students, it affects how much the students learn. We all learn differently and have different interests, so it’s asking an awful lot of a teacher to find a single method that works at the same time for so many people.
Students in a University lecture
By providing personalized services at scale, Riiid is using AI to solve that problem, just as nr2 is doing so for early-stage investment. The same personalization is also evident in products you use everyday: Google, YouTube, Netflix, Naver, Watcha. All of them are personalized based on your behaviour. YouTube, for example, shows me what I care about, and it does the same for you. The videos will differ greatly.
This is the path nr2 is taking. We want to build a neutral and reliable platform where you can find information on start-ups and technology. We also want to build something that helps you learn more about your personal areas of interest and stay on top of developments you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of.
Let me know how you get on with Theia. As with Riiid, it’s a learning journey we are on together.
Thanks as ever for reading and, if you like what you see, please consider sharing!
Tesla faces yet another EV rival in China as partner of Ford and Mazda teams up with Huawei and CATL to launch the Avatar brand
Chongqing Changan Automobile, the state-owned Chinese partner of Ford and Mazda, has added a fourth electric car brand to its portfolio as it joins China’s dominant 5G technology company and battery maker in taking on Tesla...
JD Logistics set to raise US$3.2 Bn in Hong Kong IPO in city’s second-biggest fundraising so far this year
JD Logistics indicated on Friday it will price its Hong Kong initial public offering at HK$40.36, which will help the company raise HK$24.6 billion (US$3.2 billion) in the city’s second-biggest deal so far this year...
BYD to begin delivering EVs in Norway by Q3
BYD will begin delivering its electric crossovers in Norway during the third quarter of this year, the company announced Wednesday, the latest example of a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker pushing into the European auto market...
ByteDance’s Zhang Yiming to step down as CEO
ByteDance co-founder and CEO Zhang Yiming said he will step down as the chief executive officer of the TikTok owner at the end of this year, according to a statement published Thursday. Company co-founder and head of human resources Liang Rubo will take his place...
Keep Plans US$500Mn U.S. IPO
Chinese fitness mobile app Keep, backed by SoftBank and Tencent, plans to conduct a U.S. IPO of up to US$500 million...
Neosapience, which possesses artificial intelligence (AI) voice generation technology, has cooperated with HYBE EDU to make the synthesized sound source of BTS closer to reality. The synthesized voice...
“Anyone can make NFTs” Krafterspace Release
'Krafter', a service that allows anyone to easily issue NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) based on the blockchain platform 'Klaytn' developed by Kakao's blockchain technology subsidiary Ground X (CEO Jae-sun Han). Launched'KrafterSpace '...