Lingoda, an on-demand online language school with live instructors and Zoom classrooms, raises $67M

April 15, 2021 at 07:17

A startup out of Berlin that’s built and grown a successful online language learning platform based around live teachers and virtual classrooms is announcing some funding today to continue expanding its business.
Lingoda, which connects students who want to learn a language — currently English, Spanish, French or German — with native-speaking teachers who run thousands of 24/7 live, immersion classes across a range of language levels, has picked up $67 million (€57 million).
The company already currently has some 70,000 students, 1,400 teachers and runs more than 450,000 classes each year covering some 2,000 lessons.
“We want the whole world to be learning languages,” Shangkuan said.
“That is our vision.”The funding is coming from a single investor, Summit Parnters, and the valuation is not being disclosed.
“We only run classes that are profitable,” said Shangkuan (who is from the US, New Jersey specifically) in an interview.
That being said, he added, “We can’t answer if we are profitable, but we’re not hugely unprofitable.” The market for language learning globally is around $50 billion so it’s a big opportunity despite the crowds of competition.
Lingoda notes that teachers set their own schedules and call classes themselves, rather than being ordered into them.
This format makes it fall into more standardized language learning labor models.
“The main difference is that our model brings in-person classes online, but we are still following the same local guidelines.”Lingoda’s growth is coming at an interesting moment in the world of online education, which has been one of the big juggernauts of the last year.
“The language learning market is increasingly shifting to online offerings that provide consumers with a more convenient, flexible and cost-effective way to improve their foreign language skills,” said Matthias Allgaier, MD at Summit Partners, in a statement.
“We believe Lingoda has developed one of the most comprehensive and effective online language learning solutions globally and is positioned to benefit from the ongoing and accelerating trend of digitization in education.