Preply, a Ukraine-born private language tutoring platform, is pursuing its international development path with a $10 million round of funding closed in January.
According to CrunchBase, the investment consortium was led by London-based venture capital firm Hoxton Ventures with participation from a variety of investors mostly from Western Europe: Point Nine Capital (Germany), Educapital (France), The Family (France), All Iron Ventures (Spain), Diligent Capital (Ukraine). Prominent business angels also jumped in, including David Helgason (Unity Technologies), Danielle Hoffer (Couchsurfing), Arthur Kosten (Booking.com) and Gary Swart (Upwork).
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Some of the investors were already involved in Preply’s previous round, $4 million in 2018.
The funding will help the company strengthen its position in North America, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the UK. Besides, Preply will open a branch in the United States, a strategically important region for the project. Currently, Preply has offices in Kyiv and Barcelona.
Like many other online education sites, Preply has seen a surge in usage during the Covid-19 outbreak. Company founder Kiril Bigai told Edsurge that Preply’s traffic increased by 40% from January to late March.
Preply’s services enjoyed growing popularity even before the pandemic, however: on the US market, the number of learners and tutors on the platform each doubled year over year, Bigai claims. Globally, the company’s revenue grew tenfold over the last three years.
The platform gathers “over 12,000 highly qualified tutors.” Starting at $5 an hour, its one-on-one online lessons attract more than 100,000 students every year.
Preply now employs 125 people full time, essentially in is offices in Kyiv, Berlin and Barcelona. It has raised $15.5 million in total since its inception in 2013, according to CrunchBase. Its eventful life was recalled in a recent industry report by East-West Digital News.