founder

Founder Profile: Creating An Immersive Language Learning Experience

Summary

At the time of publication, May 1st, FluentWorlds had raised $65,835
Learning a language for most of us is incredibly challenging and with so many online solutions it’s hard to know what makes each one unique and why it might help you learn.

 

One company that has created a completely new solution to language learning is FluentWorlds. FluentWorlds provides a 3D immersive world where users can literally enter the FluentWorlds environment and interact with characters on their journey to become fluent in a new language.

They say practice with others is the best way to learn. This team lets you do that virtually and has seen significant traction to date. We sat down with David Bradford, CEO to discuss what he and his team are up to and why you should inves
Chris Lustrino

David, can you tell us about how your wife, Dr. Linda Bradford, came up with the idea for FluentWorlds and why you decided to team up?

David Bradford

While working on her PhD dissertation, Dr. Linda studied the efficacy of learning in a virtual classroom v. the physical classroom. The results were quite surprising in that the students that took a course in a 3D online virtual classroom built by us, had higher learning outcomes than those who took the same course, from the same professor in the traditional classroom. We then decided that LANGUAGE TRAINING would be the best way to show the power of virtual immersion.  

I have been fortunate to have previously run 2 of America’s 50 fastest growing Technology companies. When I saw the astonishing results students were getting from FluentWorlds, I decided this would be #3.

Chris Lustrino

With so many language learning tools out there, what makes FluentWorlds unique?

David Bradford

First, no one has a virtual immersion method utilizing gaming technologies and 3D that FluentWorlds has. All previously created Apps and language methods focus on memorization and flashcard type technologies. We give people an opportunity to learn experientially and in context in 55 different virtual environments like an airport, a hotel, a grocery store, doctor’s office – even Virtual Las Vegas.

Second, The Father of the Amazon Echo helped build our speech recognition system – it gives the user the world’s most advanced real-time feedback at the sound or phoneme level.

Third, we have the highest rated language training App in the world. DuoLingo has spent $100 Million and yet Fluentworlds has a HIGHER RATING ON ITUNES. Apple gives us 5 Stars and a 4.85 rating.

Fourth, we not only have our DIY Apps, but we have created a LIVE online learning platform -the FluentWorlds live online Academy – combining the best of Google Hangouts, Slack, and Virtual Reality with 3d characters in a series of virtual worlds.

Fifth, the team – a number of previous exits, the world’s most talented young hyperpolyglot, Tim Doner, Jeff Adams of Amazon Echo fame, Dr. Linda Bradford with her ground-altering work in 3d environment- and I have won Utah’s CEO of the year and been given 2 of the State’s most prestigious Life-time achievement awards.

Chris Lustrino

Why does creating this 3D visual experience create a more engaging learning environment for users?

David Bradford

Ask the Millions of kids that are addicted to video games.  Video games are a dominant form of entertainment today because they are immersive, exciting, motivating, and often collaborative.

Now – imagine a classroom or an App where instead of having video games interfering with learning, video game technology is at the core of the instructional paradigm. Enter FluentWorlds – the provider of the world’s most sophisticated 3D/VR game platform for language learning.

Chris Lustrino

Who is your target audience?

David Bradford

16-35 year old’s have been our best market. Young professionals. Essentially – it is anyone that wants to  learn English to improve their careers. Further, anyone who has ever used ANY language training system from Berlitz to Rosetta Stone to DuoLingo. They love our unique virtual immersion system.

Chris Lustrino

What languages do you cover today?

David Bradford

Right now, we only teach English. We started there because it is the language of the internet and the lingua franca of business. 2/3rds of all monies spent annually on language training are just to learn English. We plan to flip the app to teach Spanish and Mandarin during this year.

Chris Lustrino

How do you price in comparison to competitors?  

David Bradford

We charge 10 bucks a month. Users get to play the first 2 of 55 virtual adventures for Free. We have 90% retention so we know our users are getting value.

 

We really don’t know how much they charge. Our language training is so differentiated that it kind of does not matter what they charge.

Chris Lustrino

How do you plan to continue to scale the number of users you have?  

David Bradford

We first  localized our Apps for use by native Spanish speakers who want to learn English. We had over half-million downloads and over 6000 paying subscribers from Spanish speakers living in the USA alone.

We have now added 17 source languages like Mandarin, Japanese, German, Portuguese, Turkish, Vietnamese, etc. We have not even begun marketing to these latter markets. There are 1.7 Billion people studying English on the planet. ALL OF THEM SHOULD BE FLUENTWORLDS CUSTOMERS. We will use digital and social media around the globe to scale.

Chris Lustrino

What has CAC and LTV looked like to date?

David Bradford

Our Cost for acquiring a Paying subscriber ranges between $20 and $35 Dollars. Because we have 90% retention, our LTV is about 9 to 10 months which equates to about  $90 or $100 dollars of LTV.

Chris Lustrino

Do you see this as a standalone business or one that gets acquired by a larger language learning provider?

David Bradford

The key to running any business is to create a great, cash flowing business. Then all options become available. We certainly have the technology to be a standalone language training business but if one of the large ed Tech companies like Pearson or itutor Group in China come calling with a big check, we would consider that.

Chris Lustrino

How will the capital in this round be utilized to grow the business?

David Bradford

50% marketing and paid advertising on Social sites to drive App Sales – we have found a profitable revenue model. 20%  for creation a version of FluentWorlds to teach Spanish and Mandarin. 20% for salaries, and hiring sales talent and programmers. 5% for Creation of Videos and other marketing content. 5% Patents and IP protection.

With over 200K subscribers, growing revenues, a product that is truly differentiated, and a great founding team, this might be worth consideration of investment.

If interested in investing in FluentWorlds be sure to check out their offering page HERE for more details.

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About: Chris Lustrino

A Boston College Eagle for life, on a mission to democratize startup investing for all people at KingsCrowd, with a passion for Fintech, investing, social impact, doing well and doing good, and an avid runner, cyclist and writer.

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