Edtech startup Lingo Live takes in $5.2 mln


Lingo Live, which helps businesses train their employees to improve their English communication skills, has secured $5.2 million in Series A funding. Owl Ventures led the round with participation from return backers Alpine Meridian Ventures, Fresco Capital and Entrepreneurs Expansion Fund.

PRESS RELEASE

Lingo Live, an education technology startup that helps businesses train their employees to improve their English communication skills, has raised $5.2 million in Series A funding. The round is being lead by Owl Ventures, with participation from existing investors Alpine Meridian Ventures, Fresco Capital, and Entrepreneurs Expansion Fund.

According to Lingo Live founder and CEO Tyler Muse, “technology companies are increasingly diversifying their workforce through international expansion and the limited supply of engineers here in the US has them bringing in non-native English speaking engineers from abroad. As a result, they accumulate a linguistic debt that hampers productivity, innovation, and talent retention. We provide an alternative to expensive and inconvenient on site coaching by pairing these employees with a live coach who teaches them the communication skills they need to move up in their career.”

Lingo Live coaches are available 24/7 and are trained on the company’s proprietary Task Based Learning methodology, which focuses on the cultural and communication skills employees need to be more confident and productive in their job. The platform, which is available in seven languages, can be deployed to employees throughout the globe in a few clicks. Detailed reporting dashboards allow Training & Development professionals to measure progress and engagement across their organization.

Lingo Live’s biggest customers include Twitter, Holiday Inn and Eventbrite, among other Silicon Valley household names. The company plans to invest some of its newly raised funds towards building tools to help employees of all skill levels, including native English speakers, learn topics ranging from public speaking to active listening, impromptu speech, and effective email composition.

Additionally, the company will continue to develop its proprietary algorithm which pairs coaches to students based on the student’s needs and goals.

“Many of our students voice frustration at the fact that, outside of an MBA, there aren’t many ways to learn the communication skills you need to be a leader in today’s interconnected internet age,” says Muse.

Owl Ventures’ Amit A. Patel praised Lingo Live’s Task-Based Learning curriculum that delivers highly-personalized lessons relevant to employees’ needs. Experienced coaches on Lingo

Live’s platform co-construct tasks with employees to maximize personalization and focus on each employee’s individual workplace challenges, he added.

Patel listed a few examples of the common target areas for improvement that Lingo Live students are working on today: pitch a new project to your team with confidence, deliver one-on-one feedback to a colleague, and help a non-technical colleague understand a technical concept.

“As companies expand, it will become imperative for their employees to be able to communicate with each other, and Lingo Live offers a proprietary methodology to for them to speak in their authentic voice. If firms are not proactive about coaching their potential leaders to communicate more effectively, it could impact employee morale and ultimately the company’s ability to remain competitive,” he noted.

Since 2014, the company has grown revenue at over 20% month over month and plans to nearly triple revenue in 2017. Lingo Live currently employs over 180 coaches teaching thousands of students across 27 countries. The average active student takes ~2 lessons per week and the company boasts an average teacher satisfaction rating of over 98%.