Berlin-based Lingoda announces €57 million to expand its online language school to new markets

Lingoda, a leading online language school, today announced it has raised €57 million in growth equity led by global growth investor Summit Partners, with participation from existing investor Conny Boersch, founder of Mountain Partners, which first invested in Lingoda in 2015.

The new funding will support Lingoda’s expansion into new markets, further enhance the company’s live classroom experiences, and accelerate the company’s already robust growth. Including this latest round of funding, Lingoda has raised more than €70 million since 2013. Previous recent rounds were led by investor Grazia Equity, which has played a key role in the company’s growth journey to date.

Founded in 2013 by entrepreneurs Fabian and Felix Wunderlich, Lingoda is a leading online language school offering live small group and private classes available 24/7 in four languages – English, German, French and Spanish. Lingoda teaches more than 450,000 classes each year through a community of over 1,400 certified, native-speaking teaching professionals. The company’s structured curriculum includes over 2,000 digital lessons produced in-house by linguistic experts. Courses are designed to empower language fluency, and 97% of Lingoda learners confirm that the platform is more effective than using language apps alone.

“We are Europe’s leading online language school. We aim to be the world’s largest, offering our students and teachers more learning and teaching options than any other provider,” said Michael Shangkuan, CEO of Lingoda. “To date, we have taught over 3 million hours of coursework to more than 70,000 students, and our community is growing daily as we continue to build our platform to serve more learners worldwide. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our trusted investors and partners, whose collaboration has been instrumental in our growth to date, and we are excited to embark on our new partnership with Summit. We look forward to working together to further scale our business and accelerate our growth.”

Lingoda has grown rapidly since its founding as the demand for language education continues to rise, driven by globalization and the increasing need for communication across borders. The increasing adoption of technology, which has been further accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis, has fueled this growth and brought about a secular shift to online learning. In the past year alone, Lingoda has grown its customer base nearly 200% and has served students from almost 200 countries worldwide.

“The language learning market is increasingly shifting to online offerings that provide consumers with a more convenient, flexible and cost-effective way to improve their foreign language skills,” said Matthias Allgaier, a Managing Director at Summit Partners who will join the Lingoda Board of Directors. “We believe Lingoda has developed one of the most comprehensive and effective online language learning solutions globally and is positioned to benefit from the ongoing and accelerating trend of digitization in education. We are thrilled to partner with the entire Lingoda team, and we are excited about the future for this business.”

“We believe the push that COVID-19 has triggered in online education is irreversible; virtual learning is an easier, more convenient option for daily use, and the technical possibilities are significant,” said Jochen Klüppel, Partner at Grazia Equity. “The course for digitization in language schools has long been set, and we believe it to Lingoda’s strengths. We are proud to have been at Lingoda’s side for the past several years, and we’re happy to continue supporting them on this exciting journey.”