WordDive's digital matriculation exam prep course achieved market leadership in Finland in just two years. Now the company is looking for funding to accelerate its international growth. Next destination: Germany, the birthplace of the Abitur exam.
25% of Finnish high school seniors are already preparing for their language exams with the help of WordDive's digital prep course. 98% of them would recommend the course to others. The course was developed by the Finnish educational technology company WordDive and uses an award-winning, AI-based application to help users to learn languages.
"We estimate that 40% of Finnish high school seniors will use WordDive in 2017," says WordDive CEO Timo-Pekka Leinonen.
Next, WordDive will head to Germany, where the Abiturprüfung exam is very similar to that in Finland. "Test marketing in Germany was a success, so our goal is to achieve clear leadership in the German prep course market by 2019. We're working on this together with Samu Haber, the front man of the band Sunrise Avenue, who is a major celebrity in Germany," says Leinonen.
After Germany, the company is the most likely to head to China, where the local final exam Gaokao plays a defining role in a young student's future studies and career. WordDive's equity offering, released in the crowdfunding service Invesdor today, has already raised over 470 000 euros from 230 investors during pre-release marketing. The aim of the crowdfunding round is to raise a maximum of 800 000 euros of new capital."WordDive is an internationally competitive product based on personal optimisation, gamelike features and the use of multiple senses. The prep course can be used on a computer as well as on iOS and Android mobile devices. A grade guarantee makes the course even more attractive: for example, Finnish students who complete the prep course but don't get at least the second best grade in English will be fully refunded," Leinonen says.
Read more about WordDive's equity offering at Invesdor.com/worddive
WordDive’s English prep course for German high school seniors was chosen as a nominee for the Edison Awards 2016. The Edison Award is among the most prestigious accolades honoring excellence in new product development, human-centered design and innovation.
The Edison Awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by the American inventor and businessman Thomas Alva Edison, while also strengthening the drive for innovation, creativity and ingenuity. The winners will be presented at the Edison Awards ceremony and gala in New York in April, 2016.
Schlag den Samu is a prep course for German high school seniors that are preparing for their final exams in English. Based on WordDive's unique language learning method, it guarantees better results and helps students overcome the fear of using a foreign language.
The course package includes 13 courses in three key areas: academic linguistic competence, grammar and language comprehension. The students can complete the exercises online at their own pace. The learning is clearly structured and the users can track their progress in real time. 98 % of course participants recommend the course.
In Germany, the final exams of high school play a truly decisive role in the student's future. There are half a million students competing for university entry every year. Passing the Abitur and scoring high in English opens the door to top universities and a secure future.
Red Herring announced its Red Herring Europe award winners today, recognizing Europe’s leading private companies and celebrating these startups’ innovations and technologies across their respective industries.
Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe list has become a mark of distinction for identifying promising new companies and entrepreneurs. Red Herring’s editors were among the first to recognize that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Salesforce.com, YouTube, and eBay would change the way we live and work.
“Selecting startups that show the most potential for disruption and growth is never easy,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “We looked at hundreds and hundreds of candidates from all across the continent, and after much thought and debate, narrowed the list down to the Top 100 Winners. Each year, the competition gets tougher but we believe WordDive demonstrates the vision, drive and innovation that define a Red Herring Top 100.”
Red Herring’s editorial staff evaluated the companies on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technological innovation, management quality, overall business strategy and market penetration. This assessment was complemented by a review of the track records and standings of similar startups in the same verticals, allowing Red Herring to see past the “buzz” and make the list a valuable instrument of discovery and advocacy for the most promising new business models in Europe.
WordDive, a language learning service from Tampere, has received another award. This time, the award went to WordDive's mobile application, which was voted the best in Finland. The service, which is spreading around the world and being used in over 130 countries, is the only fully web-based language learning service that learns to know each user personally and optimizes the exercises for each individual user. Both the game industry and the education field benefit from Finnish world-class mobile know-how.
"Makes it easy to learn vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation. You will learn languages in a personalised way at your own pace. The fastest way to start using a new language," was the verdict of the jury, chaired by the Minister of Education and Science Krista Kiuru.
WordDive team with the representative of the jury Kenneth J. Jönsson (left) and Mikael Jungner, who awarded the prizes (right).
WordDive's base algorithm, hailed as ingenious, learns to know each user and optimizes the exercising personally. It has a patent pending in the United States.
Another central advantage of the mobile service is keyboard-related. A smartphone can be as powerful as a PC, but its text input is far behind in usability. The WordDive application has its own virtual keyboard, developed specifically for learning foreign languages, which puts the smartphone on the same level with PCs as a learning tool.
These two breakthroughs are central to explaining the success of WordDive's mobile application.
The majority of WordDive users in over 130 countries consists of independent learners with a need to improve their language skills quickly. In Finland, the number of people preparing for the matriculation exam with WordDive is growing in leaps and bounds. Of those who used WordDive to prepare for this fall’s exam, 90% recommended the service for next year's abiturients, which is strong proof of WordDive's usefulness. Students preparing for comparable exams abroad are also an important target group for WordDive's global growth.
Language proficiency is becoming more and more important in today's increasingly international job market, where language skills play a major role in career development as well as getting hired in the first place. WordDive is an efficient way of refreshing and developing one's skills for those already in the working world.
”WordDive's main goal for 2015 is to achieve a major market position in China, Germany and Russia. The growth is made easier by having a product that is unique on the global scale, as well as by modern application stores where anyone can download our app," says CEO Timo-Pekka Leinonen.
Timo-Pekka Leinonen, CEO, tel. +358 40 506 6048
WORDDIVE IN BRIEF
WordDive is a Tampere-based company developing advanced e-learning solutions and now experiencing rapid global growth. WordDive has been recognized both in Finland and internationally.