Mekong Capital had a great experience in education with our investment in Vietnam Australia School (VAS). Thus, we were committed to making more impact in the education sector with MEF III.
During that time, we saw there was a boom in the English education sector with many large players such as Apollo, ILA, and VUS. These centers were continuously expanding to meet the increasing demand for learning English for all ages. Serendipitously, we met a team of exceptional founders that were up to a big game, while focusing on great academic results.
We were very inspired by the YOLA leadership team and we shared a mutual commitment to their vision: to create high-quality education to help young Vietnamese unleash their potential to pursue their dreams. Thus, we became partners in 2016.
As YOLA’s future was exciting the founders started to scale up quickly by opening new centers and investing substantial time and money to get the best possible and inspirational teachers and develop a state-of-the-art curriculum to empower their teaching quality. This was also the time where YOLA shifted to focus on KIDS as they saw a profound impact they can make for the kids to unleash their potential.
YOLA started to hire many new team members and teachers. They had to burst out of their shell as the head office became way too small with the mix of all these current and new employees. This led to the challenge was to keep this founder-led culture alive throughout YOLA and keep inspiring every team member into the vision.
So YOLA founders, the top 30 employees, and the investors co-created the new and exciting YOLA vision that really helped everyone to be a team and work together to achieve it with a set of aligned core values and behavior to match. Shortly after this memorable occasion, the company rolled out many core values and culture initiatives, elevating its employer branding as an attractive workplace alongside its education reputation. Picking up this opportunity, an education-focused investment firm, Kaizen invested in YOLA and has added a lot of additional value to the company.
After 4 years since our investment, YOLA has successfully achieved 85,600 student enrollments via 17 training centers as of 31 March 2021. YOLA will achieve its vision of enrolling 500,000 students and reach 2 million people through education by providing awesome customer experience and employee satisfaction, and by living our core values.