Speak App Closes Series B

AI-powered language learning app Speak is on a tear. Since launching in its inaugural market of South Korea in 2019, Speak has grown to over 10 million users. Its user base has doubled every year for the last five years, and Speak now has customers in more than 40 countries. Keen to see Speak’s expansion continue, investors are now pledging additional cash to startup. The company closed a $20 million Series B extension led by Buckley Ventures, with participation from the OpenAI Startup Fund, Khosla Ventures, Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham and LinkedIn executive chairman Jeff Weiner. The capital injection brings Speak’s total raised to $84 million and doubles the startup’s valuation to half-a-billion dollars. Speak, launched in 2014 by Zwick and Andrew Hsu, who met while at the Thiel Fellowship, is designed to teach language by having users learn speaking patterns and practice repetition in crafted lessons rather than memorize vocabulary and grammar. In this way, it’s not dissimilar to Duolingo, particularly Duolingo’s newer generative AI features. But true to its namesake verb, Speak emphasizes verbalizing above all else.