Preply, an online language learning marketplace based in Kyiv, Ukraine, has raised $10 million of funding to expand its global presence and grow its network of tutors.
The Series A round was led by London-based Hoxton Ventures, with participation from European VC funds Point Nine Capital, All Iron Ventures, The Family, EduCapital, and Diligent Capital. A number of individual angel investors also participated in the funding round.
Founded in 2013 by Kirill Bigai, Serge Lukyanov and Dmytro Voloshyn, Preply provides an online language learning marketplace by connecting learners with professional language tutors from around the world. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase the efficiency of pairing tutors with learners, wherever they are in the world, making smarter connections and cracking the code of effective language learning. The platform has a network of 10,000 verified tutors teaching 50 languages to tens of thousands of learners across 190 countries.
Preply claims to have taken two million classes to date, with teachers of 160 nationalities. While a vast majority of learners use Preply for professional purposes such as moving abroad or to advance their careers, others use it recreationally, such as helping their child learn a new language or indulging a passion to master a new skill.
Commenting on the funding, Kirill Bigai, Co-founder and CEO of Preply, said in a statement,
“The new funding allows us to bring a more in-depth, immersive and convenient experience to both tutors and learners all over the world. Today, we are laser focused on language learning, but ultimately, I envision a future where anyone can learn anything using Preply.”
Preply plans to use the new funds to expand its global presence, mainly in North America, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK. It plans to open an office in the United States later this year. The startup also intends to grow its network of tutors, and plans to roll out an array of new tools, assessments and homework.
The platform allows learners to connect language experts from around the world, take online lessons at their most convenient time, and choose an experienced tutor that fits their budget. Preply also enables tutors to develop alongside the platform, giving them the opportunity to explore training and lesson plans so they can streamline their income and maximize their classes.
Issuing a statement on the investment, Rob Kniaz of Hoxton Ventures said,
“Getting to know Kirill and the team at Preply we were most impressed with their tremendous growth already in the US market as well as the size of the global market in online language tutoring. We believe the team has vast opportunity ahead of it, especially in the English-learning segment of the market where Preply already demonstrates market leadership.”
With the new funds, Preply also plans to roll out an array of new tools, where tutors will be able to smart-track progress, and develop their own lessons and trainings alongside the platform. The startup also plans to develop its mobile offering, streamlining the Android and iOS app to make it more efficient and user-friendly.