English learning startup LinguaLeo has received $ 3 M from the Runa Capital venture fund. This is a Russian-language service that allows studying English words and phrases in the context of multimedia, it provides interactive training and quests to fix and assimilate thematic courses watching the progress of learning in real time, according to the description of the service.
It should be noted that this investment in LinguaLeo is an example of the new funding policy, recently announced by Runa Capital. A week ago, the fund increased twice and the new strategy was announced. Consumer Internet services, not just technology startups will be financed under the strategy.
LinguaLeo had been developed in 2009 while public access to the resource was opened in 2010. You can operate the service in a web browser, as well as using applications for the iPhone and smartphones based on Windows Phone OS. LinguaLeo is a shareware service: you can use it for free to learn English, but there are also some paid options.
Funds received from Runa Capital will be spent on the empowerment of the service adding new languages, as well as on its localization in other countries. Currently LinguaLeo is used by citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russian-speaking audiences in the U.S., Germany, Great Britain, Israel and Moldova. The number of registered users reaches 1.5 M people, an active monthly audience - 500 K people.
Among the planned innovations of LinguaLeo we can note the entry of Brazil market, the development of mobile clients and creating of specialized courses - for example, to prepare for EGE, as well as expanding the list of languages studied - in the first place, we plan to add the European languages - German, Italian, French and others, including Russian, and then - Japanese, Chinese and other oriental languages.
The service is developed by a Russian team of 35 people, which is based in Strogino Technopark. It is headed by Abdulnasyrov Aynur, a graduate of the Higher School of Economics and the founder of several other companies - Club Speakers language center, Treda.ru artists order service and ImageStars.net. According to Ainur, the service is not profitable at the moment - big investments are made in the development and growth (although after receiving $250 K from business angels in 2011, LinguaLeo got first payback after six months).