Online language learning

Preply, a Barcelona and Kyiv based language learning platform, announced on 9th March 2021 that it has raised USD 35 million in its Series B round that was co-led by Owl Ventures and Full in Partners. The raise comes on the heels of an exceptional year for Preply, with the number of active users and tutors, GMV and revenue witnessing a fourfold increase. 

Investors: Founded in 2014 by Jed Smith and Tory Patterson, Owl Ventures is a San Francisco based venture capital firm that invests primarily in leading education technology companies of the world.

“As a firm dedicated to scaling transformative education companies, we are highly optimistic about the online language learning market which is estimated to be worth over USD 21 billion by 2024. We couldn’t be more excited to invest in Preply and are confident that they’ll capture a big piece of that pie.”—Ross Darwin, Principal of Owl Ventures.

Full in partners, similarly, is a New York based investment firm founded in 2018 by Elodie Dupuy and Jessica Ma. It seeks to improve the fundraising experience for startups through its technology, value-added strategy, and expert guidance & strategy.

Preply plans on utilising the new round of funds to double its workforce across all divisions and platforms, add more value to its students and teachers by improving the support system and learning experience, and also build a new B2B business.

About Preply :

Preply was founded in 2013 by Dmytro Voloshyn, Kirill Bigai and Serge Lukianov to enable students to learn new languages from the best tutors in a one-to-one learning environment.

It has created an excellent platform for students and tutors to connect. With over 40,000 online tutors teaching more than 50 languages to thousands of students from around 180 countries, it is quickly becoming a leading ed-tech company.

With student-tutor matches being suggested through a machine-learning algorithm, recommended tutors create customized lesson plans to suit the learner’s budget, schedule, and current knowledge.

The US is quickly becoming Preply’s largest market representing 30% of its global revenues. The most popular languages being studied in the US are Spanish, English, French, Chinese and Japanese.

What the CEO has to say:

“This round represents an exceptional achievement for the entire team following the exciting journey over the past years.  This new funding will help us tackle a variety of strategic priorities, as we plan to double our workforce across all divisions and locations. We’ll add more value for both students and tutors by improving support systems and amplifying the classroom and curriculum experience which has proved so valuable already. We also have big plans to build out our B2B business, which we expect to become a much larger proportion of our revenues in the coming years. As we secure our leading position in Western Europe and North America, we’ll be diversifying our media and marketing mix to build a globally-recognised brand. I’m personally most excited by the prospect of scaling in promising new markets to really deliver on our mission to shape the future of effective learning”.—Kirill Bigai, co-founder and CEO of Preply.

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Raghavendra writes about the startup ecosystem on VC Bay. He is a final year undergrad at Indian Institute of Management and Commerce. Besides being a sports enthusiast, he is passionate about the world of finance and startups.



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