Preply - language learning service founded in Ukraine

Preply is a global language learning marketplace, connecting 50,000+ tutors with millions of learners from all over the world. Since the company launched in 2012, students have signed up to more than 15 million lessons.

Backed by some of the world's leading investors, Preply is on a mission to shape the future of effective learning. Fueled by a belief that live engagement with a teacher is still the most effective way to learn a new skill, Preply is building a personalized learning space that will enable individual learners to reach their goals in the fastest way possible.

Powered by a tenfold increase in revenues over the last three years, Preply is now leading the online language tutoring segment globally and has 400+ employees of over 50 nationalities based across Barcelona, Kyiv, and the US. Preply is driven by a culture of experimentation and data-driven learnings focused on building best-in-class consumer and enterprise solutions.
Preply was founded in 2012 by Ukrainian entrepreneurs Dmytro Voloshyn, Kirill Bigai, and Sergey Lukyanov. In summary, it's a platform that facilitates the exchange of language tutors with students. Preply is distinguished from competitors by its proprietary AI that facilitates student-to-tutor communication that is focused on the student's specific goals, for example, the preparation for the English TOEFL or the German TestDaF. The service is accessible via the Preply mobile app.

Another interesting aspect of Preply is its lack of enthusiasm for the academic process. There is no gamification or other new concepts. Instead, there are traditional 1x1 lessons that have lesson plans and other formalities. Additionally, Preply provides its tutors with lesson plans that are only available in English and Spanish as of now.

Kirill Bigay ended up starting from nothing, but a few years later the team jumped into Techstars Accelerator and raised $120,000 from angel investor Semyon Dukach. The startup's potential was recognized by other investors (Digital Future, Xevin Investments, Hedgehog Fund, Techstars), and in 2016, Preply raised $1.3 million in a seed round.

Meet the founders of Preply

  • Kirilo Bigai
  • Sergiy Lukyanov
  • Dmytro Voloshyn
Later, in 2018, the team managed to raise $4 million from international investors, most notably Pavel Chudzinski of Point Nine Capital, RTAVentures VC, Ukrainian Diligent Capital Partners and SMRK. Angels from Poland also contributed, namely: Mariusz Gralewski from DocPlanner, Przemyslaw Gatsek from Grupa Pracuj and Artur Kosten from the Netherlands. All of these investors have contributed in 2016.

Preply's coaching services are currently available in the US and Latin American markets, as well as in Asia and Western Europe. The platform provides access to over 25,000 tutors and the ability to learn 27 different languages for an average price of $15-20 per lesson. In addition to language lessons, the service offers tutoring in academic subjects such as mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry and creative subjects such as drama, music and art. In addition, the platform provides assistance in preparing for numerous exams. Work more than 10,000 hours per month on the Preply platform.
Kirilo Bigai, Sergiy Lukyanov and Dmytro Voloshyn - Preply co-founders
Preply plans to expand into new markets, primarily North America, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK, and plans to open an office in the US later this year. The company plans to launch new tools that will allow tutors to use the platform to develop their own lessons and effectively track students' progress.

In addition to regular B2C tutoring, Preply also offers B2B products for companies willing to teach languages to their employees. Following the Series B, Preply shared plans to focus on its B2B growth. Over the past year, Preply has tripled the size of its B2B segment, counting ByteDance, Mercedes-Benz and McKinsey among its clients.

In 2022, Ukrainian-founded online language-learning marketplace Preply raises $50 million in funding. The Series C round was led by Silicon Valley-based Owl Ventures. Also participating in the round were existing investors Diligent Capital, Hoxton Ventures, Educapital, Evli Growth Partners, Przemyslaw Gacek, co-founder of Grupa Pracuj, and new investors Swisscom Ventures and Orbit Capital.

Frequently Asked Questions

Preply is a language learning platform that connects learners with certified tutors from around the world.
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