Most language apps mirror the same methodology used in a classroom setting, which demonstrate catastrophic failure rates in learning a new language: nearly 99.5% fail to become fluent, while apps like Duolingo only have success rates that mirror traditional classroom learning.
Cashing in on this, language learning app EWA has raised $2.7 million. The round saw the participation of Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitri Melnikov, the founders of SEMRush and was joined by Day One Ventures, Elysium, Marat Kichikov, Co-Founder of Bitfury; Mark Vranesh, former Zynga CFO; Jeff Shouger, former Niantic CFO; and more. The new capital would be utilised for expanding its product offerings.
Launched in 2018 by Max Korneev, Stepan Nikitin, Anton Aleshkevich, and Stas Morozov, the platform which uses clips and memes from real-world movies, TV shows, books, and games to make language learning entertaining and effective, has also raised $32.4 million ARR while it was fully bootstrapped.
Max Korneev, Co-founder and CEO of EWA said: “EWA’s use of real-world video, audio, and text is a great solution to ensure users can quickly learn and appreciate pronunciation, idioms, and complex articles of speech that take years to master from a textbook. In addition, being immersed in real-world conversations from TV shows and passages from books that users are already familiar with evokes emotional connections between the subject matter they’re learning and their contextual memories, strengthening learning.”
So how does the app work? When a user first signs up for EWA, they interact with a chatbot to describe their learning style and preferred content (books, movies, memes, etc). Then, they’re taken right to the lessons that are based on real-world content. For example: a user might learn how to say, “Where is the restroom?” by watching a clip from a famous movie, which teaches correct pronunciation and intonation rather than hearing a robot or slowly-speaking studio voice, users learn from the start how the new languages work in the real world.
The app has amassed more than 51 million downloads and 3.5 million monthly active users with an annual run rate of $32.4 million–all while fully bootstrapped.
EWA built millions of followers across Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook to bring language learning to popular channels and ultimately help users quickly master new languages, including English, Spanish, French, German and Italian.