LinguaLeo is a personal online service that helps people master foreign languages. In order to provide an engaging and effective experience, LinguaLeo motivates learners by using game mechanics and leveraging authentic content of personal interest. The service combines personalized learning plan, language immersion, and social engagement among students.
Putting emerging markets first for its global expansion, LinguaLeo currently teaches English to users from Brazil, Russia. The service recently launched in Turkey and eyes for expansion to Spanish speaking countries later this year. We had a chat with LinguaLeo COO Dmitry Stavisky, who is former VP International at Evernote, about this new platform. Mr Stavisky who was driving Evernote’s international expansion, tells that he learned how to turn technology startups into a global business. “Many of these approaches are totally applicable to LinguaLeo. The main lesson I learned at Evernote is to focus on the product, make sure it provides real and clear value to its users. That’s our focus at LinguaLeo.”
How does LinguaLeo help its users to learn English?
LinguaLeo users learn languages at home or on the go in the context of their everyday lives – when reading web content, watching video, listening to music. LinguaLeo has partnered with top authors and publishers to offer its users choice of best language courses. Students can also choose multimedia content of personal interest from curated collections of authentic news, entertainment, and professional materials.
LinguaLeo is available on the web, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and as extension for popular web browsers.
LinguaLeo can be used for free, it also offers an affordable premium subscription which lets users accelerate their learning curve. It provides more advanced tools and wider choice of courses, including specialized ones.
How was it developed? When?
LinguaLeo was founded by Aynur Abdulnasyrov, a young entrepreneur who started to teach language as a student and quickly founded a language school.When he realized that this approach with teachers in physical classrooms is not scalable, he decided to build a software service. He formed a team of developers and built LinguaLeo 4 years ago. Initially he funded it with the money he got from selling his brick-and-mortar language school business.
Did you get any financial support?
Aynur Abdulnasyrov got angel funding. And in 2012 LinguaLeo got a $3M investment from international VC fund Runa Capital. Today LinguaLeo has about 9M registered users worldwide and growing. It doubled over thepast year. And that’s just the beginning. Our team is also growing – we have over 60 people worldwide, most of them are experienced engineers.
How is LinguaLeo different than the other apps already exist in the market?
LinguaLeo is unique in a way that it combines personalized learning plan, language immersion, and social engagement with other students. This way, LinguaLeo offers its users the possibility to learn English in the most efficient and fun way. LinguaLeo members have the choice of authentic content from well-known authors and publishers. This enables them to read, watch and listen to content of their personal interest from curated collections of authentic news, entertainment and professional materials. LinguaLeo motivates learners by using game mechanics and leveraging authentic content of personal interest. We partner with top authors and publishers to offer our users the choice of best language courses and collections of authentic news, entertainment, and professional materials. Now they can follow their personalized learning path that matches their language level, goals, and interests.
For instance, we have prepared a special course for the World Cup. The course “Do you speak Footbalish?” offers the users an opportunity to learn how to talk about soccer in English. The course follows company’s strategy to offer content of personal interest that helps users master the language in more specific subjects.
LinguaLeo lets you learn at home and on the go. The service keeps your learning progress in sync between mobile apps and the website, so that you can make use of every free moment, in a fun and effective way to learn a foreign language.Importantly, LinguaLeo makes English learning affordable for broad population. Last but not least, we have completely localized our product. We translated user interface and localized large number of training materials. We continue our work on adopting LinguaLeo content, including courses and tests, to Turkish educational practices.
What are your plans for the near future?
We continue developing the product, make it more effective, personal, and engaging on all platforms. We also scale LinguaLeo internationally – 2014 is the year when LinguaLeo expands in several new markets. We’ll be launching our service in the Spanish speaking countries soon.
LinguaLeo is also deepening our collaborations with big international content publishers.
We are working hard to keep our product the best on the market and we have several exciting new things to be launched before the end of the year. You will hear some news about this very soon.