Lingokids, the English language learning platform for early childhood, has raised $6 million in a series A round of funding led by Holtzbrinck Ventures, with participation from existing investors JME Venture Capital, Sabadell Ventures, Big Sur Ventures and Gwynne Shotwell (COO of SpaceX). New participants include Silicon Valley ed-tech investor Reach Capital, Athos Capital, and All Iron Ventures. The Spanish startup has also received a $1.3 million grant from the EU’s H2020 programme, raising Lingokids’ 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.
Cristobal Viedma, Lingokids founder and CEO, explains: “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. 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 fresh 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 improved 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.
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.