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Lingumi, the London and Cardiff-based edtech startup that teaches English to kids aged between 2 and 6 using an app and a range of physical products, has picked up £1.2 million in seed funding.
Leading the round is ADV, with participation from existing backers LocalGlobe, and company builder Entrepreneur First (Lingumi was part of EF’s 5th cohort, which is turning out to be quite a vintage year). A number of unnamed angel investors also took part in the round.
CEO - Toby - Mather - CTO - Adit
Founded by CEO Toby Mather and CTO Adit Trivedi after they paired up at EF in late 2015, Lingumi has built a language learning platform for pre-school kids, initially targeting the teaching of English. Described as “digital-first,” it consists of an app designed around a curriculum of daily lessons, which can then be augmented with Lingumi’s physical products, such as ‘Play Cubes’ and ‘Jumbo Word Cards’.
In a call with Mather he told me that the Lingumi product that exists today is very different to the one he and Trivedi originally pitched at EF Demo Day back in early 2016, even if the mission remains the same: to increase access to learning a second language, based on a belief that a child’s earliest years present a “magic window” to do so.
Pair - Concept - Toy - Learning - App
Initially, the pair had developed a concept for a connected toy that controlled a learning app but pivoted to a subscription model after families kept hitting the end of the startup’s curriculum and requested more. In July last year, Lingumi ditched the connected toy entirely and switched to a “pure digital subscription,” up selling its now much simpler physical products separately.
“We’re increasingly aware of the exceptional ability of infants to learn a second language from very early in childhood, but access to English is typically restricted to the super rich, or to children aged...
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