The announcement comes after Preply reported an “exceptional year”, with the number of active learners and tutors, GMV and overall revenues quadrupling across the board.
“This new funding will help us tackle a variety of strategic priorities”
Funding was co-led by Owl Ventures and Full In Partners, with participation from previous investors Point Nine Capital, Hoxton Ventures, as well as EduCapital, All Iron, Diligent Capital and Evli Growth Partners.
Angel investors Niklas Ostberg, co-founder and CEO of Delivery Hero, Arthur Kosten, co-founder of Booking.com, Przemyslaw Gacek, co-founder of Grupa Pracuj, and David Helgason, co-founder of Unity Technologies also participated in the funding round.
“This round represents an exceptional achievement for the entire team following the exciting journey over the past years,” said Kirill Bigai, CEO of Preply.
“This new funding will help us tackle a variety of strategic priorities, as we plan to double our workforce across all divisions and locations.
“We’ll add more value for both students and tutors by improving support systems and amplifying the classroom and curriculum experience which has proved so valuable already.”
Preply said its growth can be attributed to the trend of e-learning adoption, already in motion and now accelerated by Covid-19 lockdowns.
According to the company, its gains also correlate with how Preply is combining a “human-led approach with a proprietary curriculum product” covering the full learning journey with AI powered features.
This technology has significantly increased the length of time each learner spends on the platform, resulting in a 16% increase in purchased lessons per student, the company said.
The UK is Preply’s biggest European market – 20% of those learners are studying Spanish, followed by English, French, Arabic and Italian.
English remains the second most popular language of study in the UK; a demand generated by re-locators, expats and foreign students in-market. English is also the second most popular language of study in the US after Spanish, and is the most studied subject on the platform in Australia.
“We also have big plans to build out our B2B business, which we expect to become a much larger proportion of our revenues in the coming years,” Bigai said.
“As we secure our leading position in Western Europe and North America, we’ll be diversifying our media and marketing mix to build a globally-recognised brand.
“I’m personally most excited by the prospect of scaling in promising new markets to really deliver on our mission to shape the future of effective learning.”
“We have spent a decade investing in edtech and marketplace businesses and Preply really stands out”
Ross Darwin, principal of Owl Ventures, said that his organisation is “highly optimistic” about the online language learning market which is estimated to be worth over US$21 billion by 2024.
“We couldn’t be more excited to invest in Preply and are confident that they’ll capture a big piece of that pie,” he said.
Jessica Davis, co-founder and managing director at Full In Partners, highlighted Preply’s differentiated and highly scalable model for language learning.
“We have spent a decade investing in edtech and marketplace businesses and Preply really stands out for its strong leadership, high-velocity growth, and greenfield market opportunity,” she said.