Latin America’s EdTech game just got much more interesting thanks to language education MVP Open English. The company has raised US$65 million in a Series D funding round led by Technology Crossover Ventures. Its valuation: nearly US$350 million.
Founded in Venezuela in 2006 and now based in Miami, Open English has established itself as the leader in online English-language education in Latin America, offering live online classes taught by native speakers to thousands of students. It boasts offices not only in Caracas and Miami but in Bogotá, São Paulo and Panama City as well.
Open English employs more than 2,000 workers and operates in 22 countries across Latin America to date. The Wall Street Journal pointed to the company’s Brazilian landing over a year ago as a catalyst for its accelerated growth.
Looking Beyond Latin America
This latest investment round will prove a game changer for Open English, which will use the funds to fully expand its operations and products not only within Latin America but, for the very first time, outside of the region as well. The company has remained tight-lipped as to exactly what locales it will target, though it has indicated that at least three new territories will be on the menu.
Andres Moreno, CEO of Open English, spoke with the Miami Herald about his business’ potential:
We’re just really scratching the surface here. We think there is meaningful opportunity to continue to capture market share as people realize this is a better and more cost effective solution than traditional brick-and-mortar schools.
US$120 Million and Counting
Over the past year, Open English has caught the attention of numerous investors from the United States and abroad, having raised US$120 million in total. Bob Trudeau of Technology Crossover Ventures gave some potential insight as to why:
It’s right in our sweet spot of education technology and consumer Internet. It’s a high-growth company.
Open English closed a Series C round worth nearly US$43 million in June of last year with participation from Redpoint Ventures and Insight Ventures, who also participated in this most recent round. It has also received backing from Kaszek Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners and numerous angel investors. The company is operating in what is estimated to be a US$83 billion global space.
Its funding will help Open English to hold off competitors from Latin America and abroad. Rosetta Stone announced the acquisition of Livemocha earlier this month, thus expanding its international reach. Locally, Open English has to fend off entities like LinguaLeo, EnglishUp and Busuu.
Open English’s comic approach to television advertising likely gives it a leg up, too. Take a look at one of its latest ads below: