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Lingokids has raised $ 40 million to fund its educational games platform. And the company said it is now reaching more than 30 million families around the world with its mobile apps.
The company targets its ‘playlearning’ app on children aged 2 to 8 as it tries to expand their vocabulary, improve their literacy skills and develop important 21st century skills in a fun and safe environment. .
Lingokids also invites families to participate in their children’s play-learning journey through exciting play activities. In total, the company’s apps offer more than 600 learning activities and songs. The games teach an array of everyday subjects and language, as well as 21st century skills such as creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.
The applications present funny and unique characters, developed by Guillermo García-Carsí (creator of the famous cartoon Pocoyó) and his team. Featuring both original and Oxford University Press content, the Lingokids program was specially designed by the company’s education council with early language learning experts from companies like LeapFrog, Hasbro, Disney and Nickelodeon.
Lingokids has received accolades from programs such as PTPA, Mom’s Choice Awards, Product Hackers Awards, enlightED and Educational App Store. Lingokids was also named one of the best startups in 2020 by LinkedIn. The platform is certified by the KidSafe Seal program and provides an ad-free environment for children.
A modest start
Launched in 2016, San Francisco-based Lingokids has created its “playlearning” application, and most of its developers are located in Madrid, Spain. Lingokids is dedicated to supporting parents on their child’s learning journey, offering them a parent portal showcasing each child’s progress with weekly reports, program overviews, an activity calendar, as well as tips and tricks. for the daily life of parents through its community of parents.
“I had just come out of an outing and my sister asked me to help my niece learn English,” Viedma said. “I was kind of a gamer with a background in computer science. I’ve always wanted to play games at some point in my life. So I started making games for my 2 year old niece.
Viedma wanted to move away from passive video experiences. His games worked and the business snowballed. He formed a business and started making games that he found fun. They had real gameplay elements and then added educational elements. They now range from puzzles to endless racing games. The biggest market today is the United States, where 60% of families are based. Mexico and Brazil are also great markets.
The third round of institutional funding was led by an undisclosed investor, with participation from GP Bullhound and existing investors HV Capital and Ravensburger, among others. The funding will be used to continue international expansion, the development of new forms of content appealing to children, as well as global hiring, especially for the engineering and development teams of the platform. Lingokids has raised $ 65 million to date, achieving positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in 2020.
Cristóbal Viedma, CEO and founder of Lingokids, said in an interview with GamesBeat that his goal is to help parents and caregivers raise their children and break down educational barriers. He said the company offers quality education options that parents can trust and that these are more important than ever.
During the pandemic, more than 65% of households with children reported using e-learning, and 68% of parents said they now rely on early learning apps to supplement their children’s education, according to the US census. As a trusted resource for educational and interactive content, Lingokids has tripled its user base since the start of the pandemic and is poised to transform the preschool education market.
Expansion to come
With this new funding, Lingokids will rapidly increase its international growth. In addition, it will expand its offerings related to Science and Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and learning skills that many children have missed in the past school year, such as emotional intelligence, l empathy and critical thinking. Lingokids will also develop new audio content in audiobooks and audio exercises, focusing on topics related to mental health, mindfulness and meditation.
“We offer early childhood education to children aged two to eight, teaching them all the basics like language, literacy, reading, writing, math, logic and programming,” said said Viedma. “One billion children access digital content. But while there are a lot of companies in the industry, we are different. “
The company targets families, with the customer being the parent rather than the schools. It creates original content that creates fun interactive experiences for children. And it’s reaching these kids through mobile apps.
“We are a brand of trust that people know when they are looking for safe learning for children,” said Viedma.
Lingokids plans to hire an additional 60 people around the world this year, adding to its team of nearly 100 people. The latest additions to Lingokids include Vladimir Klimov as Director of Content Strategy and Tiago Pregueiro, former Product Director at Cabify, as Vice President of Product.
Search for new partners
With its previous investment last year, Lingokids has also partnered with the international toy and puzzle company Ravensburger. Lingokids and Ravensburger will develop merchandising and new offline games and toys to complement Lingokids online activities.
The company’s partners include Save the Children, UNICEF, UNHCR and the American Red Cross. The company has been approached several times by companies wanting to license or buy it from it, but Viedma said the company is keen to invest in its own games and learning brands.
“The company’s long-term vision is to build this iconic brand for early childhood education,” he said. “Some experiences are multiplayer because we believe that learning can be a social experience.”
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