The market for language learning worth $56bn ; the market for digital language learning stands at $2.9bn of this. English language learning products are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.1%. Lingos takes advantage of this opportunity to bring together the value of person-to-person language learning with the growth of online courses. We believe that Lingos will be successful in opening up language learning to digital teaching.
Lingos has a simple mission: To enable language learners around the world to learn directly from language teachers through online courses and private lessons.
Lingos is a simple platform for mobile and online that empowers teachers to benefit from a transparent marketplace. On Lingos, language teachers market their courses and manage students; learners purchase digital courses, book offline lessons and find other students to practice with. Teachers build their own businesses and students choose to learn in whichever manner suits them best. Lingos charges a commission on all transactions. We are raising funds to expand the management and market the app in China.
Historically, the $56bn market for language learning has been centered on school tuition. With the emergence of online learning there is movement towards people paying for digital language courses, of which the mobile segment is growing rapidly. That is where we believe Lingos makes a difference: we are able to recreate the vital human connection of a real world school within our digital platform.
Fast growing economies, particularly China, have seen vast growth in two areas that directly benefit Lingos: the digitally-connected middle class (Apple sold more iPhones in China than the US) and number of students learning English. Our focus is to take on the China market. We have developed the Lingos app for the China App Store, we have commissioned an initial set of high-quality courses for the Chinese market and we are actively partnering with China-based companies to establish our Chinese brand.
There has been a sizeable investment in online learning platforms ($180m invested in the leading three Massive Open Online Courses from the likes of Harvard and MIT: Coursera, edX and Udacity) and the learning marketplace model has already been proven successful by the companies like Udemy ($48m raised). So why will Lingos succeed? The key differentiator for Lingos is that we operate in the golden triangle of learning languages. Lingos provides students with human relationships, both offline or digitally, because we know that students learn language best when they learn from real people. From our research this sort of learning environment is not a feature of competitor platforms.
The market is huge and growing. Lingos takes a 40% commission on the sale of online courses and the costs to Lingos for the platform are small: teachers create the courses (from a one minute lesson on slang to series of academic lessons) and sell them directly to learners anywhere in the world. We believe we have the expertise to promote Lingos to teachers and students alike at low prices per conversion. We intend to succeed on the strength of our USP and our ability to reach a growing market with a high ROI.
Lingos was founded by serial entrepreneurs Mikael Dia and Simon Grice in June 2013. Mikael discovered the opportunity to connect teachers and students online. Mikael and Simon developed the first prototype of Lingos, which they launched in January 2014. By the end of 2014 the web-based platform was already generating revenue.
Lingos has been an investable proposition to date, and has raised £472k in total from CRCC Asia, a China Internship Provider, and Angel Investors including Duncan Greenland, Nick Tellwright and Roger McMahon and Mark Goodwin. A number of these Angels have direct experience in the language learning market; Duncan Greenland sold his Study Group to the Daily Mail Group for £44m.