From learning plumbing on YouTube to getting fit with the help of apps, technology has revolutionised the way we pick up new skills. And not only is e-learning great for your personal lives but it’s rapidly proving to be a great space for startups to flourish in. For proof, you need to look no further than Memrise, the AI language learning app, that just raised an impressive amount of dosh.
Having already hit a 35 million user milestone, the UK-based startup has now raised $15.5m in a series B round led by Octopus Ventures, the European VC firm, and Korelya Capital, the tech-focused VC firm. It was supported by follow-on investments from the other VC firms Avalon Ventures and Balderton. This new injection of capital brings the company’s total funding so far to $21.8m. The app already supports more than 22 languages – including Mandarin, French, Arabic, Swedish and Spanish – and it was voted overall Best App in the 2017 Google Play Awards.
Having been founded by CEO Ed Cooke in 2010, the startup stands out for its devotion to authenticity. For instance, instead of relying on computer-generated pronunciation or the kind of stale vernacular taught in classrooms across the globe, the developers have crowdsourced native speakers’ unique dialects. Moreover, the company also uses machine-learning to tailor each user’s experience according to their individual. Memrise aims to use the money to develop its artificial intelligence technology with fresh features.
Commenting on the new round, Cooke said: “We’re a technology company actively working to improve human consciousness and to foster authentic engagement across communities. We care about self-improvement and empowerment and we’re determined to use technology to make learning—which we believe depends most fundamentally on meaningful connection with the world —richer and more engaging for tens of millions of people.”
With the app market shattering records in 2018’s first quarter at 27.5 billion downloads, there is no better time to set up shop in cyberspace with smart devices. And if the example of Memrise is anything to go by, then e-learning may be a great sector to join for any budding entrepreneur out there.