Language Confidence announces seed funding of AU$ 2.05 million

Nick Jenkins, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Language Confidence

The Aussie startup is on a mission to provide affordable access to quality language education for anyone, delivering automated teaching and testing of spoken English using AI technology.

Language Confidence offers an API that ‘listens’ to students and can assess and correct their spoken English pronunciation with visual feedback. This API can be plugged into any digital platform and enhance spoken products’ engagement, retention and student’s learning.

Its API has attracted clients from the high-stakes test preparation, B2B and corporate English, general English, direct-to-consumer and the learning-assisted (i.e. dyslexia) markets.

Language Confidence also provides an automated English test, which is offered as a white-labeled platform to be used for a wide range of purposes, including mock high-stakes testing, placement, diagnostic testing for universities, schools, online platforms and governments.

Language Confidence closing global teacher shortage

Nick Jenkins, Co-Founder and CEO of Language Confidence, who has previously sold one business at 21 years old and also founded another EdTech startup, began formulating the idea for the product during the nearly four years he spent living and teaching English in China.

Swahn Fraye, Co-Founder and CTO, left Atlassian to co-found Language Confidence, after experiencing the power of learning English himself. Nick Jenkins said, “There are 1.4bn people spending US$60bn to learn English, and there simply aren’t enough teachers to go around.”

“I wanted to scale what I was doing as a human teacher with a focus on speaking. There is a huge opportunity to unlock universal access to the English language by leveraging AI. We offer our API on a per-student or per-usage basis, and our test at a per-test fee.”

“We are very excited about what the future holds, considering the customers we have secured and the interest we’re seeing in our technology from different corners.”

Language Confidence’s strategic partnerships

Nick Jenkins formed strong relationships with  PhD students at MIT’s Speech Lab, who shared his vision and eventually became shareholders and technical advisors for the tech startup.

“I believe in doing something good and building a large business at the same time. Language Confidence is exactly that; democratised access to high-quality language education,” he said.

“We’ve come a long way since our pre-seed round of AU$500k ran out and we managed to
keep the company alive on credit cards until we had our first paying customer late in 2019.”

This funding comes off the back of a 5x growth in the company’s newly signed clients and a more than 10x uplift in inbound leads in 2021, even with zero outbound sales and marketing.

Language Confidence plans to use the fresh capital to expand on its product offering.

Language Confidence, lean and effective

The company has hired a small but elite team to execute on this and to formalise its internal
processes. Its first hire was a Chief Commercial Officer, Marco Sentenlli, with over a decade of experience as an executive in tech companies and also a founder himself.

Eric Manlunas, General Partner at Wavemaker Partners Southeast Asia made these remarks.

“Despite an ever-growing demand for English speakers, affordable, quality English education
remains unreachable for most. Nick is a three-time founder who experienced first-hand the pain points of teaching English, giving him unique insight into the space.”

“With that insight, Language Confidence has built the best-in-class API-based product that’s loved by stakeholders across the board, from traditional universities to global edtech players.”

“Even with a lean team, it has been able to compete and sign institutional clients, helping thousands of students learn and speak English as a result. We are incredibly excited to see how the Language Confidence team will revolutionize English learning globally.”

“We’ve followed Nick and Swahn persevere, build and scale Language Confidence through an incredibly difficult macro backdrop. They’ve developed a robust and scalable product seeking to solve a mammoth global problem in a low cost manner, assisting millions to learn English (first) and other languages (next),” said Daniel Veytsblit, Investment Director, Investible.

About Language Confidence

Language Confidence is a Sydney-based startup founded in 2018. Language Confidence
automates the teaching and testing of spoken English using artificial intelligence, and offers
access to this technology via an API (plugin) and an automated English test (whitelabel).

The company has raised US$1.95m (AU$2.7m) in capital, has customers in 5 continents and has made 10s of millions of API calls. Visit https://languageconfidence.ai/ for more information, or try the product demonstration here: https://try.languageconfidence.ai/.