ABA English raises $12 mln

ABA English has raised $12 million in growth capital led by Kennet Partners. Barcelona-based ABA English is online English language academy that uses videos aimed to replicate the ‘natural method’ of language learning.


Barcelona continues to grow as a startup hub as ABA English raises $12 million in growth capital led by Kennet Partners 

With over 10 million users worldwide ABA is the latest in a line of Barcelona-based startups to attract large international investment, strengthening the profile of the city’s already thriving startup scene

The startup scene in Barcelona is booming. The Catalan capital has over the years become known as the ‘startup capital of Spain’ and continues to be a popular choice among international investors. The city’s startups have received over €38 million of funding in Q1 2016 alone while big success stories such as Wallapop and LetGo have each raised over $100 million and are now actively working in the U.S. market.


The latest Barcelona startup to receive a large international investment is ABA English, an online English language academy based on the use of film-quality videos specifically designed to maximize engagement with students by uniquely replicating the ‘natural method’ of language learning. This methodology has gained the company critical international acclaim; it was named Best Educational App 2015 by Reimagine Education, awards known in the sector as the ‘Oscars of education.’


The company announced last month that it had received €12 million in growth capital in a round led by leading growth equity firm Kennet Partners. The investment ranked as the second-highest funding round for a Spanish startup in 2016 and made ABA the very first EdTech company in Spain to receive over $10 million from international investors.


CEO Javier Figarola says the large investment will be used to bolster the company’s international expansion, especially in China and Turkey, and business user base.


“English is a language that unlocks all kinds of opportunities that can transform an individual’s future,” he says. “Kennet’s investment will take us to the next level, not only by encouraging consumers to learn English but also by helping us to become the key training partner for organizations around the world.”


ABA’s has posted continuous growth despite the high drop-out rates that often blight online learning platforms. Since its launch in 2013 it has grown to have over 10 million users in more than 170 countries across the world, a wide reach not lost on Kennet Managing Director and investor Hillel Zidel.


He said: “We have been extremely impressed with the way in which ABA English has been able to grow rapidly despite limited capital resources. We are excited to be partnering with the company as it expands into new markets.”





About ABA English

ABA English offers its own unique methodology based on contextual learning, translating the principles of intuitive and natural mother-tongue learning to the digital world, and using films specially developed for learning English that improve the user experience on any platform.

Since its relaunch in 2013 ABA English has made its mark as a non-traditional startup and its learning method has been recognized internationally. The company was awarded Best Educational App 2015 by Reimagine Education (awards known as the ‘Oscars of education’) and has been featured by Apple as the Best New App in dozens of countries.

Among other academic agreements with top educational institutions, ABA English recently partnered with Cambridge English Language Assessment to become the first completely digital academy to be authorized to issue official Cambridge English certificates.

Based in Barcelona, ABA English stands out for its multinational and multidisciplinary character. Around 90% of students are located outside of Spain and its sixty employees come from 20 different countries – including Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, UK and USA among others – all with extensive experience in various areas: English philology, linguistics, English teaching, e-learning, m-learning, IT, software development, social media, e-commerce and management. For more information visit www.abaenglish.com or the AppStore or GooglePlay for mobile.


About Kennet Partners

Kennet is a leading international growth equity firm that invests in high-growth companies in Europe and North America. Kennet supports entrepreneurial technology businesses with expansion capital to accelerate growth and build exceptional shareholder value. Kennet is an experienced investor with approximately $700 million in funds under management. For more information: www.kennet.com. Kennet Partners Limited is authorized and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.