[Press Release] LingoAce, Singapore-based online language learning platform, raises US$6 million in Series A+ led by Sequoia Capital India

LingoAce, an EduTech firm providing an online language learning platform, announced today a successful fundraise of US$6 million – a Series A+ round led by Sequoia Capital India with Shunwei Capital joining the round as a returning investor. The funds will not only further accelerate its expansion in Southeast Asia but also go into expanding its technology capabilities and recruiting talent. The Series A+ round comes after its Series A round of US$7 million from existing investor, Shunwei Capital, in June 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of education. Southeast Asia has a population of nearly 700 million. According to Singstat, 25.7 per cent[1] of the population are students within the age of five to 19. With the pandemic leading to school closures – this means that close to 363 million[2] children and youth are being deprived of their usual modes of learning. As the world shifts towards embracing the new normal, there is expectedly an increased demand for EduTech solutions, with remote learning becoming a regular part of education and school life. Adoption of EduTech solutions like LingoAce’s help fill the gaps in traditional education systems that were initially unprepared for home-based learning of this scale.

Founded in 2017, LingoAce’s uniquely personalised, interactive and effective curriculum distinguishes itself from other online learning platforms.

Holding true to authentic Chinese language learning principles, its team of in-house curriculum specialists tailor globally-accredited syllabus offered by China and Singapore’s education ministry – catering to the student’s individual learning goals and even cultural backgrounds. Targeted at students aged four to 15 years, the platform enables its stringently selected professional Chinese teachers to deliver lesson plans real-time across physical borders in one-to-one and small group classes.

Leveraging multimedia, gamification features and AI-powered tools based on research-backed methodologies for effective Chinese learning, the platform is able to engage young learners and develop their self-interest for the language. To date, LingoAce has delivered lessons to more than 100,000 registered students across 80 countries.

Hugh Yao, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LingoAce, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Sequoia Capital India and have Shunwei Capital return to invest in this funding round. This not only catalyses the strong business growth trajectory we are on, but also cements the industry’s trust in our solution for the Southeast Asian region. These funds come at an opportune time as we expand to meet rising demand in the region amidst the current pandemic. We see tremendous opportunities to continue developing our online Chinese learning platform as well as growing our footprint, while streamlining our growth and setting up our additional education research centre in Singapore. These will further propel LingoAce towards its aim of becoming the leading online Mandarin classroom for our global students.”

“A few short months into launch, LingoAce has built a terrific product platform which demonstrates compelling engagement and learning outcomes for their students, and has been rapidly growing with very strong economics,” said Abheek Anand, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore. “Today, over 100 million people outside of China, 27 million of whom are K12 students, are learning Chinese. And this number has been growing at 20 to 30 per cent year-on-year. Hugh and team are going after a massive global opportunity that has accelerated even more strongly in the current environment, and the team is excited to partner with them,” he added.

Headquartered in Singapore, LingoAce currently has offices in Beijing and Wuhan, in China; and in Los Angeles. The firm has more than 2,000 certified teachers and 420 employees globally. As part of its expansion in Southeast Asia, the firm will be setting up operations in Jakarta (Indonesia) and Bangkok (Thailand), to meet the growing demands of language learning in the region.

[1] https://www.singstat.gov.sg/-/media/files/publications/reference/asean-statistical-highlights-2018.pdf
[2] https://en.unesco.org/news/one-five-learners-kept-out-school-unesco-mobilizes-education-ministers-face-covid-19-crisis
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