Berlin-based start-up Tandem, an app for practising a second language, has closed a £4.5 million funding round led by European venture capital firm Brighteye Ventures, with participation by Trind Ventures, Rubylight and GPS Ventures, TechCrunch has reported.

The funding brings the Tandem’s total raised to date to £6.8 million.
The app works by connecting users with people who’re trying to learn the other’s language for mutual practice, by a choice of text, phone chat or video call. The platform also incorporates more formal learning by providing access to tutors, but mainly helps learners through practising chatting to a native speaker via the app.

Tandem co-founder and chief executive Arnd Aschentrup said: “Given the accelerated user-uptake and clear market opportunity, we felt that 2020 was the right time to partner with the team at Brighteye to bring Tandem into the mainstream. We anticipate significant growth opportunities for online learning and social learning in the wake of coronavirus.”

He added that two “key trends” have emerged recently: “Firstly, schools and universities providing language courses have either temporarily shut down, or moved almost entirely to remote lessons. Students are therefore relying on additional platforms to learn and practise languages, which is precisely what Tandem offers.

“Secondly, we know that lockdown has enormously limited people’s ability to socialise. Friendships have been harder to maintain, and new connections more difficult to spark. We’re excited about Tandem’s ability to connect people all across the globe despite lockdown. Since coronavirus began, engagement on Tandem’s video chat feature has increased three-fold, and new user sign-ups have increased 200%.”

Date published: 28 July 2020

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