Startups

Novakid’s ESL app for children raises $4.25M Series A led by PortfoLion and LearnStart investors – TechCrunch

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With the pandemic playing havoc with children’s education, edtech startups have been on a roll. A new fundraising seems to come almost every week at this point.

Today it’s Novakid’s turn. This edtech startup is yet another “learning English as a second language for children” startup. But it at least has a chance among the plethora of solutions out there, having raised a $4.25 million Series A financing led by Hungary-based PortfoLion (part of OTP, a leading banking group in Eastern Europe), alongside a prominent edtech-focused U.S. fund, LearnStart. LearnStart is part of the LearnCapital VC which has previously backed VIPKID and Brilliant.org. TMT Investments and Xploration Capital also joined the round. Both seed investors — South Korea-based BonAngels as well as LETA Capital — took part in this financing round in January this year ($1.5 million).

Novakid’s teaching method is based around the ideas of language acquisition by Asher, Thornbury, Krashen and Chomsky, and it is specifically suited for children aged 4-12. It is incorporated in the U.S. with development and customer support around Europe.

Max Azarow, co-founder and CEO said: “Novakid is reinventing English learning for kids in countries where English is not a primary spoken language. There, English would usually be taught as an abstract subject, with focus on grammar and with little live practice offered. Novakid on the other hand implements a unique format that combines a highly-interactive digital curriculum with individual live tutor sessions where students and tutor only speak English for a 100% language immersion.”

Aurél Påsztor, partner at PortfoLion, commented: “Novakid attracted investor attention due to its excellent traction, which resulted in over 500% growth year-on-year both in terms of number of students and in terms of revenue. Other attractive points were strong customer retention, international business footprint and a solid monetization via paid subscriptions.”

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