The company will use the new funding to upscale in markets across North America and Europe, including France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK.
“The new funding allows us to bring US learners a more in-depth and varied offering”
It also hopes to introduce new tools, assessments and homework for tutors and students, as well as expand beyond language training.
“Online learning is changing fast,” said Preply CEO, Kirill Bigai.
“Though the company focuses primarily on language learning today, tutors are also beginning to teach maths, chemistry and creative writing using the platform as we envision a future where anyone can learn anything using Preply.”
The company hopes to open an office in the US by the end of 2020.
“The European market is very multicultural – a lot of people speak or learn two or three foreign languages. This, in turn, means that the European market is more developed,” Bigai added.
“That’s the expertise we’re taking with us to the US. The new funding allows us to bring US learners a more in-depth and varied offering with our unrivalled number and selection of tutors from Europe, Latin America and APAC.”
The round was led by London-based Hoxton Ventures – with participation from European investors Point Nine Capital, All Iron Ventures, The Family, EduCapital, and Diligent Capital. Individual angel investors including Arthur Kosten of Booking.com; Gary Swart, former CEO of Upwork; David Helgason, Founder of Unity technologies; and Daniel Hoffer, Founder of Couchsurfing also participated.
“Getting to know Kirill and the team at Preply we were most impressed with their tremendous growth already in the US market as well as the size of the global market in online language tutoring,” Rob Kniaz of Hoxton Ventures noted.
“We believe the team has vast opportunity ahead of it, especially in the English-learning segment of the market where Preply already demonstrates market leadership.”
Since being founded in 2013, two million classes have been taught by teachers of 160 nationalities on the platform.
Preply uses machine-learning to increase the efficiency of pairing tutors with learners – leading to smarter connections and more effective language learning. The company also enables tutors to boost their income and maximise classes by providing training and lesson plans.
The new funding will also give Preply the opportunity to develop its mobile offering, streamlining its app to be more efficient and user-friendly.