London-based Hoxton Ventures has led a USD10 million funding round in online learning platform Preply, with participation from European investors Point Nine Capital, All Iron Ventures, The Family, EduCapital, and Diligent Capital.
The capital raised in this round, which doubled the total raised previously, will be used to grow the Preply network of 10,000 verified tutors teaching 50 languages to tens of thousands of students in 190 countries worldwide, according to the company.
Using the new funding, the company plans to scale the marketplace, mainly in North America, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK.
In addition, the company aims to deepen roots in the US and open an American office by the end of the year. Preply’s European genesis and global tutor supply plays a significant role in its ability to compete in this strategic region.
“The new funding allows us to bring a more in-depth, immersive and convenient experience to both tutors and learners all over the world. Today, we are laser focused on language learning, but ultimately, I envision a future where anyone can learn anything using Preply,” said Kirill Bigai, CEO of Preply.
A number of individual angel investors also participated in the funding round, including Arthur Kosten of Booking.com; Gary Swart, former CEO of Upwork; David Helgason, founder of Unity Technologies; and Daniel Hoffer, founder of Couchsurfing.
As life goes virtual for people all over the world, teachers and students globally have flocked to online language learning, and Preplay witnessed a record number of daily hours booked on the platform this week.
The number of tutors registering on Preply has increased in regions such as the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Over the past seven days, some countries have seen the number of tutor registrations triple, compared to the same period in February.
Founded in 2013 by the Ukrainian-based team of Kirill Bigai (CEO), Serge Lukyanov (head of design) and Dmytro Voloshyn (CTO), Preply employs 125 staff of 25 nationalities in Kyiv and Barcelona.
“Getting to know Kirill and the team at Preply we were most impressed with their tremendous growth already in the US market as well as the size of the global market in online language tutoring,” said Rob Kniaz of Hoxton Ventures.