Ukrainian-founded online language learning marketplace Preply has raised $50 million in funding. The Series C round was led by Silicon Valley-based Owl Ventures. Existing investors Diligent Capital, Hoxton Ventures, Educapital, Evli Growth Partners, Przemyslaw Gacek, co-founder of Grupa Pracuj and new investors Swisscom Ventures and Orbit Capital also participated in the round.
The edtech had raised $35 million in funding last year. With the additional investment, it has raised over $100 million in funding to date.
Founded in 2012 by Dmytro Voloshyn, Kirill Bigai and Serge Lukianov, the online learning platform claims to connect more than 40,000 tutors teaching 50 languages to learners in 180 countries worldwide. The company uses a machine-learning algorithm to efficiently pair tutors with learners anywhere in the world, making smarter connections.
For example, if you’re in London and you want to learn any new or foreign language, you can easily find a language expert at a time and price point that’s convenient for you.
The company says that most of the learners skip live teaching as they prefer taking classes before or after work, meaning that there would only be a handful of slots or tutors available at that odd/particular time. This is what the edtech startup is working towards solving – the “rush hour challenge”.
The average price of a lesson on Preply is $15 to $20 per hour. The tutors at Preply are paid straight after the lesson, meaning they never have to waste time chasing payment or risk not being paid at all.
Co-founder Kirill Bigai said: “With the additional funding, we plan to continue growing our footprint in the U.S. and Europe by doubling down on AI-based matching and delivering on our promise to connect the world’s largest live language learning community.”
With clients such as Bytedance (Tiktok), Mercedes, and McKinsey, Preply claims the number of students being taught on the platform now exceeds the number of students taught in Ivy League colleges as the platform aims to dominate the expanding online language learning market, which is expected to reach $47 billion by 2025.
Talking about the ongoing Ukraine situation, CEO and co-founder Kirill Bigai said: “Two-thirds of our employees are stationed in Barcelona or elsewhere around the world but for our staff based in Ukraine. We have activated our full support where necessary. This includes assistance with moving them to different locations. Their safety is obviously our priority.”