Polish Vocabla, a startup geared towards students of English, has attracted 400K users already and look like it is heading towards being one of the most popular language-learning services.
Founded in 2011 by Michal Dyrda, Vocabla offers a service that enables users to learn English through exercises, compete with friends over Facebook, and mark their status in global rankings. We registered to find out what Vocabla has to offer.
The basic features of Vocabla will likely be familiar to those who have tried language-learning services, as users sign in through Facebook or email and are taken to a dashboard where they can find a library of user-created vocabulary lists to learn, a section called “My Words” to track their own progress, and a worldwide ranking of users for a bit of fun competition.
With this service, it seems that the most effective way to learn is to go and discover some of the user-generated lists, where users can go and find lists by category or popularity or try out video lessons. The system supports 8 languages to start from, which are Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Russian, Turkish and, of course, Polish.
The basic service offered by Vocabla is free, but advanced users have the option of subscribing to the “pro” version for 6 months at $15 and for a year at $20. Users who opt to subscribe are offered sounds, a written test, mobile apps, and customer support. The service is available on the web, iOS and Android.
It’s unclear as to how much financial backing Vocabla has, but one known investor is Rafal Han, who has also backed Polish services such as gamemaker Duckie Deck and Estimote, a maker of beacons that was accelerated at Y Combinator.
According to AngelList page, Han invests an average of $50-100K deal, so that gives us a rough idea of the amount of funding In terms of competition, Vocabla is facing off against LinguaLeo (designed to help Russian-speakers learn English), Memrise, and Duolingo.