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Lingokids: So That Every Child Can Learn Through Play


Nothing will ever be as paramount as quality education - especially for children. In times when society struggles to get a hold of its structure, education is the only glimpse of hope that keeps the world moving forward. For years, children have gotten their education the old-fashioned way - by attending school, learning their lessons, and having very little practice. When Cristobal Viedma examined the way children worldwide learned, he realized education was desperate for change - so he created it.

Lingokids is the ultimate children's educational platform, intended for children aged 2-8. Aimed at 30+ million families around the globe, Lingokids works virtually and introduces an interactive and playful way of learning for children. Through games and interaction, the platform helps children develop a sense of creativity, teamwork, critical thinking and apt communication!

Life’s like a playground and everyone should get to play! With these words in mind and a larger-than-life vision, here’s how Cristobal reimagined the EdTech game for generations ahead!

From Need to Business

Cristobal Viedma was born in 1983 in the mesmerizing Spanish countryside. Growing up, he used to be a curious child with a keen interest in all-things tech. When the time came, Cristobal enrolled at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. As a tech-savvy individual, he progressed tremendously and obtained his bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Cristobal’s drive to learn and constantly upgrade himself was still alive and kicking. He next enrolled in the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, where he broadened his professional horizons and earned a master’s degree. This opened new doors for the young tech enthusiast, who was eager to try his technical skills in practice. Even so, education-wise, Cristobal still felt unfulfilled and wanted to have a deeper knowledge in distributing technological systems. So, he once again enrolled at college, this time aiming for his second master’s degree at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Following his education, Cristobal started his professional career by launching his first entrepreneurial venture. In 2008, Cristobal created Bluewalks - an online and mobile service for travelers who want to explore tourist destinations and have all the necessary information on their mobile phones. Two years after the launch, however, Cristobal decided to put his business on hold and instead dive into multiple job positions at different companies. For some time, he served as a project manager for a multidisciplinary team of software developers and graphic designers and even returned to KTH as a researcher.

However, the course of his career changed when his sister asked for his help to teach his 2-year-old niece English. Cristobal tried to find online programs but failed because most of the available ones were either too expensive or inadequate for young children.

So, where there was a need and a lack of solution - he saw a business opportunity.

The Birth of Lingokids

Unable to find any suitable solution for his niece to learn English, Cristobal was inspired to build the solution himself. Thanks to the early funding he acquired from a 500 startup venture, Cristobal launched Monkimun Inc. in San Francisco. There, he experimented and developed interactive games and programs that children could use to learn languages. Cristobal used this as an opportunity to gather more input, but in 2016, he went back to Spain and decided to reenvision his idea into Lingokids.

The idea of Lingokids was to gather all games, stories, programs, and resourceful content into one platform that children could use to learn and interact. This was a time where online learning was booming, and Lingokids had to overcome a fair share of competitors. However, Cristobal led and built with his heart - having experienced firsthand what it means to be unable to provide a child with an effective solution for informal education in the age of digital dominance.

Cristobal poured all knowledge and experience into his new project and gathered a dedicated team to work alongside him. The team developed high-quality content that was immensely attractive to children. Moreover, the business model was instantly accepted by parents because their children were spending their screen-time learning and developing. What’s more, Lingokids offered a free version of the platform, while the subscription membership was quite affordable.

Cristobal found a market where he could solve a rising problem and make it accessible for all families. The potential was clear right away; hence Lingokids gathered around $5 million in funding from various establishments by 2018.

A Blessing in Disguise

By 2019, Lingokids, with Cristobal at the wheel, was taking over the EdTech market, one family at the time. At this point, families in over 180 countries were using Lingokids’ services, and the platform was becoming an everyday activity for millions of children.

Cristobal and his team were, of course, looking at how they could spread even more globally, as well as grow their services. However, something unexpected derailed the company growth off course - the Covid-19 pandemic.

Initially, Lingokids found it difficult to reach out to audiences in times of trouble. However, once the pandemic kicked off in full force, Lingokids was able to regroup, redshift its strategy, and appeal to wider groups of learning children worldwide.

Rising in the Pandemic and Facing New Challenges

Though initially deemed as a business threat, the pandemic helped Lingokids grow from 11 to 25 million users. This was due to the fact that, in lockdown, both parents and teachers sought out a fun, interactive, and effective alternative for home-schooling. However, during this time, Lingokids also readjusted their business model. Aside from learning English, children engaged with content that helped them learn mindful social skills, empathy, and teamwork.

With it, during a time of uncertainty surrounding the global educational system, Cristobal’s Lingokids delivered a breath of fresh air and a learning curve for all children in need of guidance. And it worked! The business reached more families and children than ever before and brought youth communities into a productive and enthusiastic learning environment. This was a bittersweet lesson Cristobal had to learn, that in times of pain and struggle, he could still encourage young learners to build their knowledge.

But, as every up has its down, Cristobal’s Lingokids would soon face a major challenge.

In mid-2020, Cristobal struggled to transition from the founder to the CEO role. Additionally, balancing the long-term strategy of his business in the midst of all the uncertainty was easier said than done. Luckily, the young entrepreneur and his team found their balance and managed their resources in a way that still kept their business afloat.

The best part about their unexpected skyrocketing is that they instantly acted upon providing solutions for families in need. Hence, they donated around 40,000 licenses to schools and ONGs such as UNICEF and Save the Children.

Company Funding

Throughout the years, Lingokids was financially backed by a total of 23 inventors in over 9 funding rounds. Between 2014 and 2015, the platform earned over $1 million from three seed rounds. By 2017, the company was enriched by $4 million from HV Capital. Another investment came rolling in in 2018 when Horizon 2020 invested $1.3 million in the educational platform.

That same year, HV Capital threw in another $6 million, whereas in 2020, the company witnessed its greatest yet investment of $10 million from Ravensburger. All in all, the company gathered $62.5 million, to further aid the company’s growth and prosperity.

Growing Bigger One Educated Child at a Time

In 2021, Lingokids managed to raise $40 million to continue helping children globally to learn through play. Down the line, the company plans on further developing their concepts into helping children expand their vocabulary, improve their STEM skills, and develop crucial soft skills - all through play!

The company HQs are cemented in Madrid, Spain, and count 112 employees and over seven million families using its resources and services. To this day, Lingokids continues to fulfill its mission of creating the most enticing and high-quality content for children worldwide.

Many factors contributed to Cristobals’ groundbreaking success, yet timing was the most important. Putting the pieces together so that every child can learn in the most organic way possible was the cog that kept the Lingokids machine rolling. In times of trouble, Lingokids created opportunities. Amidst the societal chaos, Lingokids encouraged. Most importantly, when everyone else put education to the side, Lingokids put it first - and gave it a platform that tutors, teaches, and tends to the youth’s future!