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Lingokids announces $7.3M in funding to improve its early childhood English learning platform

Wednesday, October 03, 2018
By A Staff Reporter

The funding will go towards accelerating growth, hiring new talent, and developing features to promote personalized learning and parental involvement

Lingokids, the English language learning platform for early childhood, has raised $6 million in a series A round of funding led by HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, with participation from existing investors JME Venture Capital, Sabadell Ventures, Big Sur Ventures and Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX. New participants include Silicon Valley ed-tech investor Reach Capital, Athos Capital, and All Iron Ventures. The company has also received a $1.3 million grant from the EU’s H2020 programme, raising the startup’s total funding to over $11 million in the last year.

The subscription-based platform teaches English to children ages 2 to 8 through a series of activities, games, and songs that adapt in difficulty to each child’s level allowing for a fun and personalized learning experience. Launched in 2016, Lingokids now has more than seven million families registered across more than 180 countries and has been growing at a rate of 300% each year. India is a key market with the highest number of registered users (400000) and a 5x growth in downloads from 2016 to 2017. Traction comes mainly from Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka regions which account for 40% of users in India.

“There is a growing interest in English language learning in early childhood, with market figures suggesting that at least 500 million children under the age of 8 will be learning English by 2020,” explains Cristobal Viedma, Lingokids founder and CEO. “We will continue to satisfy this demand and tackle English literacy around the world by offering high-quality educational content at an affordable price.”

The raised capital will go towards three main purposes: accelerating growth, acquiring new talent, and developing new features for the app. Lingokids plans to offer an even more personalized experience for students and to increase parental involvement in the learning process, two key factors when it comes to providing quality education during early childhood. Improvements include a revamping of the app’s parents’ section, providing new types of interactive content formats, and offering speech recognition features. The platform also aims to double its original content offering to more than 2,000 learning activities by the end of 2019.

“We’ve been amazed by Lingokids’ growth and customer satisfaction from day one,” says Jasper Masemann, Principal at HV Holtzbrinck Ventures. “Cristobal has managed to build an outstanding team. Seeing what they have accomplished in just over 12 months since their first investment has really allowed us to double down on this great company.”

Since their last VC seed in June 2017 and following a strategic alliance with Oxford University Press, Lingokids has set up an Educational Advisory Board to help further elevate and guide its curriculum. The board is headed by Dr. Suzanne Barchers, former Editor in Chief and Vice President of LeapFrog. Other members include P. David Pearson, former Dean of Education of UC Berkeley, Dr. Yong Zhao, Distinguished Professor from the University of Kansas, and other leading experts in child development, technology, and literacy fields.

The company has also extended its impact beyond regular households through collaborations with organizations such as Education First (EF), Shakira’s Pies Descalzos Foundation, and Queen Rania Foundation. By offering its content and resources, Lingokids has helped with the introduction of new technologies in classrooms in disadvantaged areas in Colombia, South Africa, Rwanda, and Jordan.

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