Cognitive linguistics tool Mrs. Wordsmith lands £2m seed investment

Subscription-based vocabulary programme uses illustrations by the creative team behind Madagascar and Hotel Transylvania

Mrs. Wordsmith, an education technology (edtech) start-up, has closed £2m in seed funding in a round led by Kindred Capital, alongside Reach Capital, SaatchiNvest, and Ropart Asset Management.

Launched in 2016 by Sofia Fenichell in a bid to improve the writing skills of her own children, Mrs. Wordsmith is a subscription-based vocabulary programme that helps young people learn “rich and unique” words using cognitive linguistics, and daily exercises and games.

Based around neuroscientific research that suggests our brains find it easier to retain information that is presented in an unusual way, Craig Kellman, the artist behind animated films Madagascar and Hotel Transylvania , and his team were drafted in to illustrate the words.

The funding will be used to allow Mrs. Wordsmith to fuel the development of its subscription-based paper product, and to fully develop its dictionary: the word engine that understands the context and relevance when a user queries a word. It will also make new tech hires and expand internationally.

Fenichell was one of 15 female tech stars to embark on a three-day trade mission to Silicon Valley in May of this year.

Fenichell commented: “The dictionary is no longer relevant to young people. And yet, in the digital age, we need words more than ever. The dictionary is a utility that is crying out to be re-imagined, both creatively and technologically.

“We’re changing the way young people discover, use and retain words. We connect you with the right words and illustrate them in a way that you will instantly comprehend and never forget.”


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Leila Zegna, of Kindred Capital, added: “The initial product has been a runaway success with customers and achieved impressive uptake and revenue growth, predominantly via word of mouth marketing and customer evangelism, showcasing the strength of the brand that Mrs Wordsmith has already been able to build in a short period of time. We believe the potential of both the physical and digital product set is vast.”

 

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