Startup List Language Learning Global EDUKWEST

Startup List: Language Learning – Global

[Updated: 12/2015]

After a quiet period, the language learning vertical within education technology is on the upswing once again with young, innovative startups entering the arena attracting a new generation of language learners.

Certainly, it’s the established players that are only too willing to satisfy the growing demand. However, there is now a plethora of new and hungry startups in the language learning space coming in the market whose offers go beyond digitized textbooks and English training only. And it’s startups we specialize in at EDUKWEST.


Overall, the online language market is doing well and growing at a CAGR of 10.04 over the period of 2014-2019. Tech solutions for learning English are booming in China, with growth of 23.6 percent in the past five years, and the Middle East, with an estimated market size of $215.7 million by 2018.

Our Startup List: Language Learning Global gives you access to over 230 edtech startups in the language education space across the globe. Each entry is carefully researched and covers the following points (when information is publicly available):

  • Company Name, Website
  • Country, City
  • Founding Date, Founders
  • B2C, B2B, Vertical, Type, Age Group, Language
  • Tech
  • Investment, Investor, Accelerator
  • User / Download numbers
  • CrunchBase / AngelList Profile / LinkedIn Company Page

Key Findings

The 230+ language learning startups we tracked for this list have raised over $774 million in the past 15 years, with TutorGroup ($315m), OpenEnglish ($120m), Duolingo ($83m), 51Talk ($65m) and Babbel ($32m) leading the list.

In terms of popularity we see the verticals of ESL (English as Second Language), self-paced online language courses, online learning communities and language exchange, tutoring platforms and marketplaces leading the list.

  • ESL: 74
  • Community: 42
  • Online Course: 32
  • Marketplace: 19

69 language learning startups on this list are located in the USA, 92 in Europe (including Russia and Israel) and 43 in Asia.


What is a Startup List

EDUKWEST Startup Lists exclusively contain startups, companies whose image is one of a digital company, and whose main business, if not exclusively, is generated through their online presence. We therefore exclude traditional businesses from our lists that have added online components to their portfolio as an additional revenue stream but remain focused on their real-life operations.

Startups in our definition are new companies with high future growth potential that are exploring a new area or niche in the education market, and are (often) in search of their business model. They don’t need to be venture funded but can be entirely bootstrapped, or have an “exit” strategy. Startups included in our lists are often, but not exclusively, rather young companies.

Purchasing this Startup List will help you to analyze the most promising markets and verticals for online language learning products worldwide and to evaluate the different market segments within online language learning.

The Startup List comes in Excel format, so you can sort it easily by market segment, investment and other variables or add your own data to it. You also get a glossary, explaining how we define the different verticals in the language learning market.

With this Startup List you will be able to see how startups approach the global language learning market, track down competitors and what they do. In many cases you also get data on how many users the listed language learning startups have today as well as how much venture capital the startups raised.


Picture License Attribution Some rights reserved by ToastyKen

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at

  • manav kothari

    Hey I’d like to take a look at this list of start-ups….Can you please confirm the price? Also when was this list last updated ?