Language tutoring marketplace, Preply, connects more than 40,000 bookable tutors teaching 50 languages to hundreds of thousands of learners in 180 countries worldwide.
Australian tutors are embracing the platform with over 500 tutors currently registered. Tutors can work at a time that suits their schedules and make money.
The most active tutor on Preply taught 330 different students on the platform in 2020. Some tutors are making an extra $3,800 AUD ($3,000USD) per month. The average spend by Australian learners is between $15 and $20 per hour for tutoring services, providing an affordable option.
Student-tutor matches are suggested through a machine-learning algorithm, recommended tutors create customised lesson plans to suit the learner’s budget, schedule and current knowledge.
Preply has seen the number of active learners and tutors, GMV and overall revenues quadrupling across the board. In part, the hypergrowth can be attributed to the trend of e-learning adoption, already in motion and now accelerated by COVID-19 lockdowns.
The performance gains correlate with Preply’s combining it’s human-led approach with a proprietary curriculum product covering the full learning journey with AI powered features. This technology has significantly increased the length of time each learner spends on the platform, resulting in a 16 per cent increase in purchased lessons per student.
In Australia, English as the most popular language being learned, followed closely by Spanish, Arabic, French, Chinese and Japanese. Data shows that 5 per cent of Preply users in Australia are between the ages of 18 and 34, with an even split between males and females. In addition, there is also demand in older age groups (55+) who are learning new languages to connect with their children and grandchildren who may live overseas.
Preply users are also opting to learn sign language and classical languages like Latin. The platform is primarily being used by learners to improve their conversation skills (50 per cent), for professional development (20 per cent) and to prepare for relocation abroad (13 per cent).
Preply was founded in 2013 by the Ukrainian-based team of Kirill Bigai, Serge Lukyanov and Dmytro Voloshyn. The company has 250 employees of 36 different nationalities at offices in Kyiv and Barcelona and has secured an additional $45 million AUD ($35 million USD) of funding, a sum that exceeds the platform’s cumulative fundraising efforts since 2013.
The round was co-led by Owl Ventures and Full In Partners, with participation from previous investors Point Nine Capital, Hoxton Ventures, as well as EduCapital, All Iron, Diligent Capital and Evli Growth Partners. Angel investors Niklas Ostberg, co-founder and CEO of Delivery Hero, Arthur Kosten, co-founder of Booking.com, Przemyslaw Gacek, co-founder of Grupa Pracuj, and David Helgason, co-founder of Unity Technologies are also participants.
Kirill Bigai, CEO of Preply, said, “We also have big plans to build out our B2B business, which we expect to become a much larger proportion of our revenues in the coming years. As we secure our leading position in Western Europe and North America, we’ll be diversifying our media and marketing mix to build a globally-recognised brand.”