Polish edtech startup Novakid snaps up €29.4 million to expand into new markets

novakid

Polish startup Novakid, an online language learning platform that provides personalized English learning for kids ages 4-12 through AI and gamification, has announced an approx. €29.4 million Series B round led by Owl Ventures and Goodwater Capital. 

Existing Series A investors PortfoLion, TMT Investments, Xploration Capital and LearnStart, as well as seed investors LETA Capital and BonAngels, joined the round.

Novakid’s learning format combines an interactive digital curriculum with individual live sessions where students and native-speaking teachers use English for 100% language immersion. The platform, which was founded in 2017, offers digital lessons, virtual 360-degree tours, in-class games, and machine learning-based assessment of students’ progress, allowing them to adapt the programme to each student.

In 2021 Novakid’s active client base growth rate reached nearly 700% YoY, with monthly growth as high as 14.8%. The number of classes delivered by Novakid surpassed the mark of €2.2 million in June 2021, reaching the level of over 410,000 new classes booked monthly. The teaching staff is expected to reach 3,000 native English speakers by the end of 2021. As of June 2021, Europe accounts for 80% of the company’s client portfolio, MENA 15%, and the Asia-Pacific region 5%. A recent study by J’son & Partners Consulting in May-June 2021 placed Novakid as the number one online English school for children in Europe. 

The new investment will be used by Novakid to expand into new markets in Asia, strengthen the company’s position in existing markets (Europe and MENA), develop original educational content, and launch a new gamification platform to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Judy Park of Owl Ventures commented: “Novakid provides kids with a fun, engaging and effective English learning experience. We’re impressed with the team’s passion for democratizing language education and its ability to penetrate a variety of markets across Europe and beyond. We’re incredibly excited to partner with the team to continue supporting product innovation and market expansion to serve kids around the world.”

Eric Kim of Goodwater Capital commented: “We are happy to back Novakid, a promising and fast-growing English learning company with a bright future to implement its mission of no-barrier communication and access to the world’s knowledge base. Novakid’s technology provides a simple and effective way to learn English at affordable prices for children and young adults in countries where English is not a primary spoken language.”

Aurel Pasztor from PortfoLion commented: “We are very pleased to see how well Novakid is executing on the international expansion strategy we outlined at the A-Round less than a year ago. The current investment and support of Owl and Goodwater will further solidify the company’s leading position in online Pre K-12 English education in the European and MENA markets.”

The startup states that the volume of the global market for online teaching English as a second language is estimated to reach around €8.4 billion in 2021, and its segment for children to €2.5 billion. By 2030, these markets are expected to grow to €31.9 billion and €21 billion, respectively. This boom in the popularity of online English learning could be due to globalization, a growing demand for multilingual employees demonstrated by large international companies, as well as the technological development that assists learning processes.

“Novakid’s goal is to improve the world via fostering communication without borders for the 21st century. English learning is an exponentially growing trend in the world where 20% of the population speaks this language, and as the English as a second language (ESL) market for kids is expected to grow significantly in the next decade, we’ve strengthened our investor pool with two of the very best investors in the edtech/consumer space, so we are fully prepared to build a unicorn with a significant share of the ESL market,” says Max Azarov, co-founder, and CEO of Novakid.

“For the past two years, Novakid has been demonstrating excellent well-diversified traction in both its number of students and revenue,” said Dmitry Malin, co-founder and COO of Novakid. “Geographical expansion and product development supported by the Round B investment will help us sustain rapid growth, boldly executing on Novakid’s intention to innovate ESL for children while achieving high customer satisfaction and a strong retention rate.”

“We are now combining a gamification platform and refined content, making learning English as a second language with Novakid more effective and interactive, engaging students to spend more time studying. We are also planning to expand collaboration with linguistic laboratories in Europe and the US to further improve a hyper-personalized learning experience,” shared Amy Krolevetsky, co-founder and Director of Curriculum of Novakid.