Lingumi, a London-based edtech platform for toddlers and pre-schoolers, has raised a £4 million Series A to continue developing its AI-driven language lessons and expand the team globally. The round was led by China-based North Summit Capital, with support from existing investors LocalGlobe, ADV, and Entrepreneur First.  

Founder and CEO Toby Mather wanted to create a platform that gives children a strong, early foundation in English. In fact, Lingumi’s first language learning course is designed for learners at the age of two. Lessons are designed around social learning and include interactive speaking tasks, teacher videos, and games.

In a press release, the edtech startup reports that children learn vocabulary up to six times faster via its platform compared to in-person, pre-school courses. Lingumi is also 95 percent cheaper than live courses.

“It is only the most privileged children who can access native English speakers for one-on-one tutoring. Yet we believe all kids deserve equal access to quality education, and English learning is no exception,” commented Dr. Wanli Min, general partner at North Summit Capital and former Chief Data Scientist at Alibaba.

“Lingumi has the potential to democratise English learning and offer every kid a personalised curriculum empowered by AI and Lingumi’s asynchronous teaching model,” he concluded.

The platform is now being used by more than 100,000 families globally, including in mainland China, Taiwan, the UK, Germany, Italy, and France. Forty percent of active users are playing lessons daily, with over 1.5 million English lessons in China in the last six months. 

“Lingumi’s rapid expansion in the Chinese market required a strategic local investor, and Dr. Min and the team had a clear-sighted understanding of the technology and scale opportunity both in China and globally,” said Mather.

The e-learning startup will use the investment to expand its technology and marketing teams in London, Cardiff, Singapore and Shenzhen, China.

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