91. Lingumi

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Founders: Toby Mather and Adit Trivedi
Founded: September 2015 (Launched February 2016)
Website: www.lingumi.com

Toby Mather had spent a year teaching English to kids in Russia and Italy before starting Lingumi.

He began to research language acquisition and found that children are actually “neurologically best positioned” to start learning languages in their pre-school years. But there was no affordable, scalable way to help them do it.

Until now.

Teaming up with Adit Trivedi – who had formerly worked on the tech teams at JP Morgan and Hubble – he started Lingumi: a fun and playful way for children aged two to six to learn English.

The app uses practical English teaching experience combined with research from top linguists at the University of Oxford. It features hundreds of fun learning games that can be accessed on iOS or Android to help kids pick up English in a natural way.

There are hundreds of lessons in the Lingumi app so far and more are added every month, equating to over a year’s worth of curriculum.

As well as charging a subscription for this service, it also sells physical learning products such as play cubes (interactive foam cubes) and jumbo word cards (large colourful learning cards featuring more than 70 verbs and nouns).

In just over two years since launch, Lingumi has signed up 10,000 families to use its curriculum service every month and now the start-up is set to scale its platform to new global markets.

We’re told that it has some “exciting partnerships” lined up to help it to enter the lucrative Chinese market next year, where it will be used in homes and kindergartens across the country.

Ultimately, Mather and Trivedi would like to bring education to billions of pre-school learners around the world and become the “Disney of early education”.

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