Lingoda, a Berlin-based startup that offers online language courses, has announced that it has raised $68 million (about 57 million euros) in a new fundraising round. The round was led by global growth investor Summit Partners. In addition, existing investor Conny Boersch, founder of Mountain Partners, who first invested in Lingoda in 2015, also participated in this round.
With the recent round, the company has raised a total of over $83 million (around €70 million) in funding to date.
Disrupting the brick-and-mortar language school model
Lingoda was founded in 2013 by entrepreneurs Fabian and Felix Wunderlich. The company’s platform offers online live groups and private lessons (1 on 1, 60 minutes per class) with qualified, native-speaking teachers. It also offers certificates after course completion.
Felix and Fabian Wunderlich shared a strong passion for the language. After studying abroad and living in different countries including England, France and Holland, they decided to start, Lingoda, to impact the lives of others.
Currently led by CEO Michael Shangkuan, the platform offers courses in four languages - English, German, French and Spanish and helps people improve their language skills. According to the company, 97% of learners confirmed that the platform is more effective than using language apps alone.
Lingoda teaches more than 450,000 courses each year through a community of more than 1,400 certified native-speaking teaching professionals. The company’s structured curriculum includes over 2,000 digital lessons produced in-house by language experts.
With over 70,000 students worldwide, the company’s private and small group lessons are taught by over 1,400 qualified native speaking teachers.
The company mentions in the press release: “We believe in a communicative approach to language learning: mastering a language means being able to speak it with confidence. Our CEFR-focused learning materials are designed by language experts and focus on meaningful topics applicable to our students’ interests, careers and daily lives. With our extensive roster of rotating teachers and small group classes, students are exposed to a variety of regional accents and expressions in the same language and have the time and space to practice speak at each lesson.
Use of funds
The capital raised will enable Lingoda to expand its services into new markets; further enhance the company’s live classroom experiences and accelerate its already robust growth.
Lingoda is currently led by an international team of over 150 language enthusiasts from over 30 countries who speak 40 languages. Michael Shangkuan, CEO of Lingoda, said, “To date, we have taught over 3 million lesson hours to over 70,000 students, and our community is growing every day as we continue to grow our platform. to serve more learners around the world.
Recent growth of Lingoda
According to the company, the global language learning market is worth more than $50 billion in annual revenue. The demand for technology, amid the pandemic, has accelerated growth and driven a secular shift towards online learning.
Over the past year, Lingoda has grown its customer base by nearly 200% and has served students from nearly 200 countries around the world.
Matthias Allgaier, Managing Director of Summit Partners – who will join Lingoda’s Board of Directors, said: “The language learning market is increasingly shifting towards online offerings that provide consumers with a more convenient, flexible and cost-effective to improve their foreign language skills.
Jochen Klüppel, Partner at Grazia Equity, says: “We believe that the surge that COVID-19 has triggered in online education is irreversible; virtual learning is an easier and more practical option for daily use, and the technical possibilities are significant. The course of digitization in language schools has long been set, and we believe this is Lingoda’s strength.
Watch our interview with Paul Down, Head of Sales at Intigriti.