The English language is spoken by about 17% of the world’s population. This is approximately 1.35 billion people out of the nearly 8 billion people in the world. Out of this only 360 million have English as their first language, making it the most commonly studied foreign language in the world.
Most of these non-native English speakers have just an entry or intermediate level proficiency, restricting them from being comfortable and adapting into a fully English-speaking college or work setting.
Having faced a similar situation after stepping into the college environment, four B.Tech students together decided to build an app to help others facing the same issues. Lucknow-based Stimuler was set up in 2022 by Akshay Akash, Ankit Kumar Pandey, Anesh Srivastav, and Akshat Baranwal.
Stimuler is a voice-AI platform that enables non-native English speakers to improve their fluency and confidence in the language using instant AI generated feedback. The app uses AI to guide the users coaching them for better speech.
It provides users with prompts which have to be spoken about. This activity enables the platform to access and offer real-time feedback and improvement exercises on pronunciation, vocabulary, fluency, stress etc helping improve the user’s spoken English.
The company is present in over 197 countries and some of its key geographies are India, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. These countries are where the majority of the English as a Second Language public is situated, Akash CEO and founder of Stimuler explained, so the audience will be able to connect and relate better.
Running on a subscription basis, the users can opt for a monthly subscription ranging from $4-$7 according to the geographical location.
Stimuler raised its pre-seed round of $25k from the student startup accelerator, gradCapital. The company is looking to raise its second round, starting at the end of March.
This global consumer tech platform has over 80,000 users with a majority of new users signing up over the last two months. The startup is expecting to touch 100,000 users by the end of this month. “About 30% of our current user base are Indians with the majority of them belonging to the age group of 20-30.”, Akash said.
These numbers plan to be bumped up to 1 million in the next 6 months with a target of onboarding 100 million learners on the platform in 3 years’ time.
The year-old company has a current valuation of $625K and sees a 30% week-on-week growth. It registered about 35,000 monthly active users.
According to a report by Facts and Factors, the global online language learning market was worth $14.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach a high of $28.5 billion by 2028 with a CAGR of 18.8%. This market is divided into two major sectors- individual learners and institutional learners. In 2020 the individual learners segment held the greater part of the market proportion.
The startup competes directly against locally placed Cambly and internationally placed Elsa and Orai and indirectly against Duolingo. It is currently focused on test-prep for IELTS as a niche and plans on gradually expanding to public speaking and general English-speaking skills.