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Language learning app Memrise scores $15.5m Series B

EdTech company Memrise has secured $15.5m (£11.61m) in Series B funding.

Memrise is a language learning app for adults, which supports more than 22 languages, including French, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese.

This fresh funding was led by Octopus Ventures and Korelya Capital, with additional investments coming from Avalon Ventures and Balderton Capital.

Memrise claims to help more than 35 million adults worldwide to learn languages, and will use this cash injection to accelerate its growth, by developing its software and adding multimedia enhancements to its app.  

Memrise was founded in 2010 by Ed Cooke, Ben Whately and Greg Detre. Cooke studied psychology and philosophy at Oxford, and saw an opportunity in how tech can help build a highly personalised, yet scientific, learning experience. Cooke shared his view for the company, which now has a team of 70: “Memrise is an accessible platform for all people to learn languages—at the heart of our vision is creating learning experiences that meaningfully connect people to the world,” he said.

At the core of the Memrise mandate is enriching people’s experience of the world, which Cooke believes sets Memrise apart from other startups, and is critical to its growing success. He added: “We’re a technology company actively working to improve human consciousness, and to foster authentic engagement across communities. We care about self-improvement and empowerment, and we’re determined to use technology to make learning—which we believe depends most fundamentally on meaningful connection with the world —richer and more engaging for tens of millions of people.”

New lead investor Eyal Rabinovich, from Octopus Ventures, said: “We’re in love with Memrise’s vision for language learning, and have been deeply impressed with the high engagement levels and tangible learning among their millions of users. We look forward to supporting this exceptionally diverse and talented team in their mission to enrich human consciousness through learning.”

Paul Degueuse from Korelya Capital, concluded: “Much more than another language learning app, Memrise addresses our endless aspiration to learn and experience our global world, with a unique understanding of the way we think.”