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Maxfield Capital invests in Israeli English-learning app SpeakingPal

0 29 May 2014

Russian venture fund Maxfield Capital has invested more than $1 million in Israeli startup SpeakingPal, a mobile platform for language learning based on voice-recognition technology. 

SpeakingPal, which has won a range of edutech-sector awards, has more than 2.2 million registered users and has also partnered with Educational Testing Service (ETS), the creator of the TOEFL and TOEIC tests, to offer a subscription based service featuring premium content from ETS.

As you might guess from the name, speaking is the app’s main priority. The service’s 5-minute mini lessons, which are designed to fit into those spare moments that pop up every day, are built around a ‘conversation’ with a virtual tutor. At the end of each lesson the learner can get instant feedback on their pronunciation and also take advantage of a review mode for later practice. 

While the company’s iOS and Android apps are free to download, SpeakingPal makes money through its SpeakingPal Plus subscription service, and also by selling its platform to other language-learning projects. Popular Russian English-learning project LinguaLeo, which has more than 9 million users worldwide, is known to be interested in connecting with SpeakingPal. 

SpeakingPal connects two fast-growing sectors - English language learning, which was estimated to be worth $63 billion in 2012 and is expected to grow at 25% per year until 2017, and mobile education, worth $5.3 billion in 2012

Maxfield Capital was founded in 2013 by Alexander Turkot, a former director of the Skolkovo innovation park. It recently announced an undisclosed investment in American project Weaved. Its portfolio also includes Russian projects Parallels, Jelastic, Qbaka and DrChrono.

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