Preply, a global tutoring marketplace for language learning, has raised $35 million in a Series B funding round co-led by Owl Ventures and Full In Partners, the company has announced recently.
The round saw participation from previous backers including Point Nine Capital, Hoxton Ventures, EduCapital, All Iron, Diligent Capital, and Evli Growth Partners. Angel investors such as Niklas Ostberg (Co-founder and CEO of Delivery Hero), Arthur Kosten (Co-founder of Booking.com), Przemyslaw Gacek (Co-founder of Grupa Pracuj), David Helgason (Co-founder of Unity Technologies), and Gary Swart (Former Upwork CEO) also participated in the funding round.
The latest funding comes nearly a year after Preply had raised $10 million in its Series A round. And it comes after the company reported an ‘exceptional year’, with the number of active learners and tutors, GMV and overall revenues quadrupling across the board.
Preply provides an online language learning marketplace that 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. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase the efficiency of pairing tutors with learners wherever they are in the world. The platform claims to have a network of over 40,000 verified tutors teaching 50 languages to tens of thousands of learners across 190 countries.
Commenting on the funding and how it will help the company, Kirill Bigai, Co-founder and CEO of Preply, said,
“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 classrooms and curriculum experience which has proved so valuable already.”
Preply points to their human-led approach and proprietary curriculum that covers the full learning journey with AI-powered features as a key to their success. The company claims this technology has significantly increased the length of time each learner spends on the platform, resulting in a 16% increase in purchased lessons per student.
Ross Darwin, Principal of Owl Ventures, said that his organization is “highly optimistic” about the online language learning market which is estimated to be worth over US$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,” he said.
Jessica Davis, Co-founder and Managing Director at Full In Partners, also commented,
“We have spent a decade investing in EdTech and marketplace businesses and Preply really stands out for its strong leadership, high-velocity growth, and greenfield market opportunity.”
According to the company’s CEO, Preply has big plans to build out their B2B business, which they expect to become a much larger proportion of their revenue 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-recognized brand,” he said.
The Kyiv-based EdTech company had last raised $10 million in its Series A round in March 2020, led by London-based Hoxton Ventures, with participation from European VC funds Point Nine Capital, All Iron Ventures, The Family, EduCapital, and Diligent Capital, and a number of individual angel investors.