Univoice

Univoice

Early Stage

1st mobile app that teaches languages through music; no singing skills required!

1st mobile app that teaches languages through music; no singing skills required!

Overview

Raised this Round: Raised: $132,317

Total Commitments ($USD)

Platform

Wefunder

Start Date

08/03/2020

Close Date

12/02/2020

Min. Goal
$55,000
Max. Goal
$1,070,000
Min. Investment

$500

Security Type

Equity - Preferred

Series

Seed

SEC Filing Type

RegCF    Open SEC Filing

Price Per Share

$0.44

Pre-Money Valuation

$4,960,000

Year Founded

2018

Industry

Education, Training, & Coaching

Tech Sector

EdTech

Distribution Model

B2C

Margin

High

Capital Intensity

Location

Austin, Texas

Business Type

Growth

Univoice, with a pre-money valuation of $4.96 million, is raising funds on Wefunder. The mobile app teaches a variety of languages through music and singing. Univoice teaches a language as it is spoken in the real world, including informal words and slang speech. The users select the language and genre of singing, start singing along and receive feedback on the pronunciation of words. Sami Halabi founded Univoice in September 2018 and has raised over $400,000 since the inception. The current round of crowdfunding has a minimum goal of $55,000 and a maximum goal of $250,000. The funds will be used for marketing and advertising, hiring, and operations. Univoice is rated 4.6 on Apple Store and 4.7 on Play Store, and has been nominated for the Top 50 Tech Innovators & Influencers award at InterCon 2020.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Revenue

$0

$0

COGS

$0

$0

Tax

$0

$500

 

 

Net Income

$-170,000

$-20,000

Summary Balance Sheet

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Cash

$18,000

$0

Accounts Receivable

$0

$0

Total Assets

$18,000

$0

Short-Term Debt

$70,000

$8,000

Long-Term Debt

$71,000

$12,000

Total Liabilities

$141,000

$20,000

Financials as of: 08/03/2020
Create a free account today to gain access to KingsCrowd analytics.

Raise History

Offering Name Close Date Platform Valuation/Cap Total Raised Security Type Status Reg Type
Univoice 04/21/2022 Wefunder $5,006,645 $209,784 Equity - Preferred Funded RegCF
Univoice 12/01/2020 Wefunder $4,960,000 $132,317 Equity - Preferred Funded RegCF
Create a free account today to gain access to KingsCrowd analytics.

Revenue History

Note: Revenue data points reflect the latest of either the most recent fiscal year's financials, or updated revenues directly from the founder, at each raise's close date.

Valuation History

Price per Share History

Note: Share prices shown in earlier rounds may not be indicative of any stock splits.

Employee History

Upgrade to gain access

Pay Monthly
Annually (Save 17%)

Edge

$25 /month
billed annually
Free portfolio tracking, data-driven ratings, AI analysis and reports
Plan Includes:
Everything in Free, plus
Company specific KingsCrowd ratings and analyst reports
Deal explorer and side-by-side comparison
Startup exit and failure tracking
Startup market filters and historical industry data
Advanced company search ( with ratings)
Get Edge Annual
Already a member? Log in here.

Ratings KingsCrowd Startup Rating Methodology Article

Blurred Ratings Bars Blurred Ratings Bars

Analyst Report Analyst Report Methodology Article

Summary

Univoice has been selected as a “Deal to Watch” by KingsCrowd. This distinction is reserved for deals selected into the top 10%-20% of our due diligence funnel. If you have questions regarding our deal diligence and selection methodology, please reach out to hello@kingscrowd.com.

The Univoice founder is part of traditionally underrepresented groups in startup investing.

Next Section: Problem

Problem

Learning new languages is an eternal goal for many, whether for business purposes or simply for fun and travel. In fact, at least 1.2 billion people worldwide are learning a language at any given time. However, learning a new language is notoriously difficult. While children can more easily pick up grammar and vocabulary and build fluency in one or more new languages, adults’ evolved learning styles mean it’s more difficult to make a new language stick.

Most people are in need of more effective language retention techniques. Music might be a prime candidate. There is some evidence that music helps to retain learned information. According to scholars at Johns Hopkins University, “music creates a soundtrack for a learning activity… when information is put to rhythm and rhyme these musical elements will provide a hook for recall.”

Apps like Duolingo dominate the language-learning market right now. But it’s unclear how effective they are at actually teaching sustained language skills. Is there an opportunity to blend language-learning with music for better results?

Next Section: Solution

Solution

Univoice is an app that teaches languages through music. Users pick a language to learn along with a music genre and song to learn to. Then they sing along in a new language, receiving instant feedback on pronunciation while reading along with translations in their native language. 

Univoice partners with major record labels to license song catalogs in several languages. The company is wrapping up a long negotiation cycle with a Top 50 record label to acquire songs from Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, and more. Univoice is also in talks with Sony Music to develop a custom catalogue agreement which would grant Univoice access to Billboard hits across supported languages. 

Univoice was incorporated in September 2018 and soft-launched in March 2019. Since then, the product has been slowly gaining a user base in advance of a hard launch in Q4 2020. The app has been downloaded 2,500 times and boasts 750 monthly active users with 3,400 monthly sessions. These users spend an average of 6.4 minutes on the app. 

Univoice is in the midst of raising a seed round with 60% of financing already raised from seven angel investors. The company has not yet generated any revenue, as all existing users are presumably on freemium plans. In 2019, the company recorded a net loss of $170,000.

Next Section: Other

The Team

Univoice was founded by Sami Halabi, a language and music enthusiast with sales and marketing experience. Halabi graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in International Relations and Global Studies. He spent several years working in sales for an international youth talent staffing organization, and currently serves as a Digital Marketing Manager for Oracle. Outside of these professional pursuits, Halabi is fluent in four languages and conversational in a fifth, and he reportedly performs music as often as possible. 

Halabi hired two more senior executives to bring Univoice to life. Bryan Riester, the company’s CPO and COO, is an entrepreneur and software developer with previous business development and founding experience. Head of User Acquisition Greg Nicholson has significant experience in sales and business development for Microsoft, Vantage Media, Oracle, and more.

Next Section: Other

Growth Plan

Univoice is planning for a hard launch in Q4 2020 with a multichannel user acquisition plan. This go-to-market strategy includes content marketing, paid advertisements, organic and paid influencer and affiliate marketing, and optimization strategies to boost discoverability in the App Store and Google Play. 

Concurrently, Univoice will begin to monetize the app. Users will be able to learn for 30 minutes per month on a free plan. However if they want to access the full catalog of languages and songs, they will need to upgrade to a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or biannual subscription ranging from $2.99 to $35.99. Univoice will also generate a smaller stream of revenue from in-app advertisements targeted at free users. 

In the longer term, Univoice also plans to generate revenue by licensing a proprietary audio content management and transcription software that streamlines the translation and synchronization of songs.

Next Section: Why We Like it

Why We Like it

  • Unique language-learning approach: Univoice is first to market with a music-based language learning app. This provides significant differentiation from mainstream leaders like Duolingo. Moreover, the app is enabled by proprietary software that translates and transcribes songs into different languages, meaning that a language incumbent like Duolingo must cross a moat to compete within this niche. Given that music-enabled learning is a proven approach for long-term retention, Univoice occupies a unique and compelling corner of the language-learning market.
  • Support from senior executives and angel investors: Univoice was soft launched at the home of SXSW founder Louis Black. This impressive network of connections led the company to gain investment from several Silicon Valley angel investors. CEO Sami Halabi, who is relatively junior in his career, is also supported by two more senior executives with entrepreneurship and sales/marketing experience. Halabi’s ability to form meaningful connections with industry leaders — including teams at top record labels like Sony — is a strong signal that Univoice’s broader network of advisors and team members will be a significant asset toward growth.

Next Section: Rating

Rating

Univoice is a unique concept for language learning that is far more intriguing and compelling than memorizing the same old flashcards on an app like Duolingo. Clearly others agree, as the startup has been funded by and employs senior executives from a wide variety of industries. These facts — combined with the app’s early engagement rates from its soft launch — indicate that the full launch later this year could be a strong success. 

However, it is important for prospective investors to note that Univoice is still very early stage. Only 2,500 users have piloted the app so far. Also, the company has not successfully monetized the concept. While the Univoice team has clearly planned the app’s hard launch in Q4 2020 extensively, it remains to be seen whether language-learning via music will be compelling for a large population of users. The company will live or die by the success of that launch, which is a major question mark. 

If Univoice’s launch is successful and the company earns a place alongside other major language learning apps, there are several paths for acquisition. Univoice already has relationships with executives at top record labels like Sony. While unlikely, a music distribution company might be willing to purchase Univoice for its community and song translation capabilities before launching a branded language-learning app. More likely, though, Univoice could become a target for acquisition by Duolingo or Babbel, the leading language-learning players. Babbel reported garnering 1 million subscriptions in 2019 and bought a smaller language startup that same year. The company is clearly interested in diversifying language-learning methods, and a music-based app like Univoice may be a promising addition to the product family. 

While Univoice is largely an unproven concept, early signals indicate that the app may fill a niche in the language-learning market and win the interest of larger incumbents like Babbel or Duolingo. The app’s differentiated approach to language acquisition and support from senior executives and investors are strong signals that Univoice has what it takes to succeed. Therefore, this is a Deal to Watch.

Founders: enhance your startup's credibility on KingsCrowd. Create an account to claim this raise page.
Add to portfolio
Univoice on Wefunder
Platform: Wefunder
Security Type: Equity - Preferred
Valuation: $4,960,000
Price per Share: $0.44

Follow company

Follow Univoice on Wefunder

Buy Univoice's Deal Report

Warning: according to the close date for this deal, Univoice may no longer be accepting investments.

Univoice Deal Report

Get KingsCrowd’s comprehensive report on Univoice including:

  • How our proprietary algorithm rates their current capital raise (1-5 stars)
  • Detailed price, market, team, differentiators, performance, and risk ratings
  • Whether Univoice is undervalued or overvalued
  • Scores on the founding team and key personnel's background and expertise
  • Our deep-dive analyst report reviewing the deal's investment potential and bullish vs. bearish outlook

Buy the Univoice deal report for only $10!

Email address:
Looking to buy more than one deal report? Get unlimited reports by upgrading to Edge