Lingoda is an Edu-tech startup that is making waves in the European educational system. The company offers the world a language learning program that is different from most others. The company is gaining attention in the business community as one of the fastest-growing and most popular of its type. To understand what makes it unique and why it's a startup investors are watching, here are 20 things you didn't know about Lingoda.
1. Lingoda takes a different approach to language learning
According to Techcrunch, Lingoda takes a unique approach to teach new languages. The business is online but offers a learning platform that includes live teachers in a virtual classroom setting. While most other online language programs are self-guided, Lingoda students get the benefits of classroom interaction through the wonders of advanced communications technology.
2. Lingoda is set to disrupt the foreign language education system
Lingoda's holistic approach to teaching foreign languages is set to disrupt the status quo of the online language learning industry. This is a specific niche that has long been dominated by online programs that do not involve the human element (instructors) in the learning process. These include Rosetta, Duolingo, Memrise, Babbel, Busuu, and others. Student feedback regarding these programs showed a desire to learn from humans versus self-guided instruction. Lingoda has emerged to provide the solution to this common complaint about previously leaving language apps. Although Lingoda pondered using automated apps, the founder decided that it would be a smarter business move to provide live instructors in a virtual classroom setting.
3. Lingoda teaches four languages
So far, Lingoda's course offerings include four languages These are English, Spanish, French, and German. The instructors leading the virtual classes are all native-speaking teachers in their respective languages. This provides students with professional educators who are well-versed in the languages they are teaching. It gives learners the advantage of learning about language idiosyncrasies that helps them better understand language nuances with an intelligent individual versus a robotic automated system that is programmed to deliver facts without taking human queries and struggles into consideration.
4. Lingoda classes run continuously
Lingoda's virtual classrooms and live instructors teach thousands of classes every day. One of the unique things about Lingoda's program is that it is massive and runs constantly. Classes are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This is the perfect schedule to fit in with busy learner's other commitments. There are quite literally thousands of Lingoda classes running and they are offered at a diverse range of language levels to accommodate learners wherever they are at in the learning and mastery of a language.
5. Lingoda has grown from a small startup to a leader in the industry
Lingoda has made tremendous progress in its success in the online education industry in the last year. With so many people being home from 2019 through the current, due to the worldwide pandemic, some people have more time on their hands. It's the perfect time to learn a new language for those who are so inclined. This is believed to be one of the contributors to the big increase in students.
6. The statistics for Lingoda are positive
Lingoda is running an impressive program that has produced some promising statistics. The company has experienced a revenue increase that is ten times higher than the previous year. Enrollment has gone up to around 70,000 students being served by 1,400 instructors. These teachers have taught over 450,000 classes a year. Lingoda has seen an increase of 200 percent and it serves students throughout 200 countries in the world.
7. Lingoda is founded by 2 German brothers
Lingoda was founded by Fabian and Felix Wunderlich in 2013. The company's headquarters are located in Berlin, Germany. The founding pair are brothers with Felix serving as the head of sales and Fabian as the chief financial officer. Although they both bring leadership skills to the company, they went outside to hire a chief executive officer.
8. Lingoda's CEO is a Chinese American
Lingoda hired a Chinese-American businessman to run its operations. Michael Shangkuan is the current CEO. He was living in Germany at the time of his hire. He has been a tremendous asset to the company, helping to secure venture capital funding and steering the company in a positive direction of growth and success.
9. Lingoda only offers profitable classes
Lingoda's CEO confirmed that Lingoda chooses the language classes that are offered per those that are currently the most in-demand throughout the world. One of the reasons that they only offer four different languages is because they're not going to put resources into offerings that do not generate enough interest to return a healthy profit for the company. The vision of the company is to help the whole world to learn new languages and the most popular choices are English, French, German and Spanish. By focusing on these four top preferences, they can allocate resources to a more narrow track that delivers high-quality education. Lingoda has tapped into a $50 billion market and it currently occupies a small piece of the pie. There is a lot more room for growth and expansion. There may be other courses that could be added to the current offerings, but none have shown the profitability potential like the four currently offered.
10. Lingoda is preparing for another expansion
According to EU Startups, Lingoda has recently signed a new deal with Summit. The partnership with this solid investor will allow Lingoda to experience another surge in growth. Summit continues to provide investments and support for the further scaling of the growth of Lingoda and the acceleration of its expansion.
11. Lingoda offers a comprehensive global learning solution
Lingoda's language learning solutions are the most comprehensive tools available on the internet today. It has modernized its platform with digital tools that augment the traditional classroom setting to make it accessible and convenient for all people who seek to learn a new language but have limited time frames for participation. Lingoda is following the current digitization of education with its virtual classrooms, human teachers, and a commitment to being accessible at all hours of the day and night, for the sake of convenience for users around the world. Lingoda provides a global solution that reaches into most parts of the world where internet access is available.
12. Lingoda is a private equity company
Lingoda has not taken its fundraising efforts into the public arena. So far, there has not been any indication that it plans to do so. This is because it has done well with support from its current private equity investors. Lingoda has participated in 9 funding rounds raising a total of 69.7 million Euros. This qualifies Lingoda as a late-stage equity capital firm.
13. Lingoda started on a shoestring budget
The startup received its first funds in a pre-seed round that raised 200,000 Euros in March of 2013 from an anonymous investor. This was followed by a successful round of seed funding led by Global Founders Capital in February of 2014. The seed round raised 1.4 million. A Series A round closed on February 1, 2015, adding an investment of 1.4 million by PD Ventures. This was continued in March of 2018 with Grazia Equity contributing 3.7 million, then an additional 1.8 million in February of 2018, followed by a round raising 300k in June of 2019. In July of 2019, Grazia Equity invested an additional 1 million with Claret Capital Partner investing 1.9 million in October of 2019. Summit Partners was the most recent investor contributing 57 million in April of 2021.
14. Lingoda relies heavily on technology
Lingoda's online educational platform relies on the use of 75 different technologies to power its website with the necessary functions. These technologies are delivered through the use of 32 technology products. HTML5, jQuery, Google Analytics, Viewport Meta, and iPhone/Mobile Compatible are just a few. This gives us an idea of the expense involved in the overhead along with providing the services that all run smoothly and seamlessly for the end-users. Lingoda's technology requirements are complex and this requires a team of skilled professionals on board to ensure their proper operation at all times.
15. Lingoda's usage is growing monthly
The statistics that track Lingoda's usage reveal that the online language learning platform continues to grow. The number of monthly visits is allied and it was last reported to average 1,853,298 visits per month. This reflects a monthly visits growth rate of 4.22 percent. The tremendous surge in growth continues to accelerate bringing in more revenues, but also generating the need to spend more on overhead costs just to keep up with the demand for the technology and to increase the capacity of the system to serve millions of visitors to the website each month.
16. Lingoda runs on a small team of executives
For such a massive enterprise, Lingoda gets by on a team of executives in leadership that consists of just seven team members. The chief executive officer leading the rest is Michael Shangkuan. Felix Wunderlich serves as co-founder and vice president of sales and partnerships. His brother Fabian Wunderlich, and co-founder serves as the chief financial officer and managing director. Charlotte Gaudin is the chief of staff. Serna De Maio is the chief growth officer. Stefan Ludwig is the vice president of engineering and Stephen Yang is the vice president of products. Although this is a relatively small team for the massive operation they are a group of tight-knit professionals who have established a proven track record of success as Lingoda continues to grow in a positive trajectory under their expert leadership.
17. Lingoda has a small board of directors
Lingoda has shown that it doesn't take large teams to achieve remarkable results in the business world. The board of directors is made up of four members who advise the executive leadership team in terms of strategic planning, operation of the company, and continued acceleration for growth and expansion. Members of the board include Jochen Klueppel, Ingo Drexler, Oliver Roskopf, and Benedikt Korling. Lingoda is one of the unique businesses that does not have a board position for either of its founders or its chief executive officer. This helps to keep the perspectives on strategy more diverse and it contributes to a bigger world view that looks at all sides of the business when making important decisions for steering the large enterprise forward.
18. Lingoda has received positive reviews from users
According to All Language Resources, Lingoda has received many positive reviews from students enrolled in its programs of study. They like the flexible hours that allow for taking classes at convenient times any day and any time of the day or night. Teachers speak most of the time in the language you're attempting to learn. They also like the choice of hundreds of different classes that are offered with different subjects at all levels.
19. There are also recommendations for improvement
Consumers also provided feedback on what they don't like about Lingoda. Some students shared that they don't like the times that they have to wait for the class they choose to appear in a convenient time slot. This has happened frequently. Another drawback is that some classes are better than others because each class depends on the feedback and involvement of other students. When some students monopolize the time allotted, others do not get the chance to participate fully. This can affect the quality of the experience for some people. Some students feel that the lesson materials are too similar and that there needs to be more variation between the lessons to make them more interesting and engaging.
20. Lingoda is keeping its valuation private
We were interested in knowing the current valuation of Lingoda. We learned that it is a private equity company that has chosen not to disclose its valuation at this time. Perhaps the company has not yet reached the stage of profitability because of its constant expansion and overhead costs.
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Written by Allen Lee
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