Quick Language Learning (QLL), a Taiwan-based mobile application development startup, recently received $450,000 in a funding round to continue developing foreign language educational apps. Participants included Incubate Fund, Pinehurst Advisors, Vilind Venture Partners and Coent Venture Partners, lead by Japanese investor B Dash Ventures.
"QLL has proven itself to be a leading edutech company in Taiwan — it fully understands the needs of the education community," said Hiroyuki Watanabe, CEO, B Dash Ventures. He had met QLL at the Japanese venture capital firm's event B Dash Camp Osaka 2013 where the startup was awarded Judges' Choice in a pitching event.
The money QLL received will be used to ramp up production of new apps and reach new markets in the US, Japan, South Korea and South East Asia, according to Elaine Huang for E27.
QLL was founded in 2007. Since then, the company has developed 150 iOS and Android apps. Their portfolio is comprised of games and tools to help foreign language learners.
The company originally started as a hardware company that sold devices to Chinese language learners that contained software that could correct the user's pronunciation. The Founders Lulu and Bob Yeh transitioned into apps when they saw the market shift to smartphones. Their focus also shifted to English language learners ages 6 and under.
Bilingual Audio Story is one of QLL's most popular apps. It teaches children language and gives them virtual coins as they complete lessons they can use to unlock more content. The app itself isn't flashy or sophisticated like some other language learning apps. QLL focuses on delivering useful content, reports Josh Horwitz for Tech in Asia.
The company is now working on a platform targeted to teachers and the education community. It will allow educators to create and exchange educational content digitally and on multiple platforms without any coding knowledge, reports Q.L.L..
"In the process of building educational apps and forming relationships with educators, we found that the education community wants a digital avenue to modernize their teaching materials," said Lulu Yeh, founder and CEO of QLL. "Educators often find that the content of their materials, and the way in which they are created and accessed, lag behind this era of tablets and smartphones. QLL's platform will empower teachers to create enriched materials and enable them, for instance, to upload teaching information in different file formats, such as image and sound, or choose among the different available templates in creating content for students."
Language learning apps are on the rise all over the world as classrooms move over to digital content more rapidly.
Jugnu, a mobile app, developed by a team from India that aims to enhance language skills of students in non-urban areas placed as one of the four winning teams at the Singapore International Foundation, reports Appaji Reddem for The Hindu.
In Australia, 40 preschools are participating in a trial to test play-based language learning apps. PS News writes, each school will be given one of five languages to test on a particular app. The Assistant Minister For Education, Sussan Ley, hopes that the trial will encourage students to become curious about other cultures and even make it so English is not the only language spoken at home.