Within Ed Tech, there are a number of competing venture-backed upstarts in the language learning market that offer unique mobile offerings. So as competition heats up in the mobile language learning market, we wanted to analyze how venture-backed apps were faring on the financing front and in the App Store rankings.
Below is the data.
Language Learning VC Financing Comparison
Five of the notable venture-backed startups providing mobile language learning apps are Duolingo, Memrise, Babbel, MindSnacks and Busuu. Pennsylvania-based Duolingo is the most well-funded of the group, and has taken $38.3M in funding from a group of prominent investors that includes New Enterprise Associates, Union Square Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Interestingly, three of the language learning companies are headquartered in Europe.
Language Learning App Store Comparison
Next, we looked at how the five firms have been faring against each other as well as publicly-traded Rosetta Stone in the U.S. App Store rankings for the ‘Education’ category.
And there have been some interesting movements in recent months.
Busuu made a notable jump in the top 1000 rankings around New Year’s and now ranks ahead of both Memrise and the most popular language apps of Mindsnacks and Babbel (note: Mindsnacks and Babbel have individual apps by language). While Rosetta Stone’s ‘Course’ app made a jump into the top 100 in mid-October, it remains entrenched in the #2 spot behind Duolingo – the front-runner in the mobile language landscape. In fact, Duolingo has not once dropped out of the top 10 ranking in the ‘Education’ category throughout the period.
Last year, Rosetta Stone acquired Maveron-backed online language learning startup LiveMocha for $8.5M, which did not have its own mobile offering at the time. Rosetta Stone is among the top 10 most active acquirer-investors in Ed Tech and so it will be interesting to see who might be next in their cross-hairs especially as they like many other firms make mobile a priority.
Given the amount Duolingo has raised, the recency of its last funding ($20 million raised last week) and its backing by AAA and AA investors (based on Investor Mosaic) who are targeting a large exit, it would appear that Duolingo would be bigger than Rosetta Stone could handle (current market cap of $252.6 million)
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