Language exchange app Tandem raises £4.5m Series A

Language exchange app Tandem has announced it has raised a £4.5 million Series A round of financing.

The round was led by Brighteye Ventures – the leading European education technology fund – along with Trind Ventures, Rubylight Limited and GPS Ventures. Tandem’s latest investment round brings the total amount raised to £6.8 million.

Launched in 2015, Tandem is a language exchange app with over ten million members across 180 countries. Members fill out a profile, identify the language they would like to learn, and whether they prefer to practice via text, audio, or video chat. The app then pairs members up, enabling them to practice their new language whilst teaching their native one. 

Tandem members can choose from more than 300 different languages, including 20 sign languages, 20 indigenous languages, and six fictional ones like Mandalorian or Klingon. Tandem is available on iOS and Android, as well as the web.  

The Tandem community has grown 200% since the global Coronavirus lockdown began.  This highlights two key trends: a growing interest in combining language-learning with human connection, and the increasing importance of online-learning options when schools and universities are closed. 

Tandem will use the £4.5 million investment to develop additional features for the app, and support team expansion across marketing and engineering functions. The Berlin-based company employs 24 full-time employees, and has plans to grow to a 50-member team globally.

Arnd Aschentrup, co-founder and CEO of Tandem, said: “We have seen a strong growth in Tandem members since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. As access to offline lessons and courses has been limited, many people are discovering a new way to learn languages and connect with new people across the globe – particularly important during times of limited face-to-face interaction.

“We are very pleased to be working with a group of investors who share our vision of a world connected by learning. Together with Brighteye Ventures, we will expand our team – especially in engineering and marketing – continue our global growth, and inspire more people around the world to learn languages and get excited about foreign cultures.”

Alex Spiro, Managing Partner, Brighteye Ventures, added: “Brighteye is very excited to support Tandem through this next impressive phase of growth.

“The product has not only proven resilient in this global crisis but has seen impressive growth during the period, and the team is now very well equipped to come out of it stronger and to continue to support loyal language learners that now number in the millions and will number many more in the coming years.”