Slang is proud to announce the closing of its US$14 million Series A investment round, led by DILA Capital and Acumen Latam Impact Ventures (ALIVE), with the participation of Salesforce Ventures, Roble Ventures, and Impact Engine. IDB Lab is also participating as an investor in the current round, aiming to provide upskilling and reskilling support to students entering the labor market, workers, and the unemployed population. Slang will be using these investors’ support to turbocharge product development and international expansion.
Slang is a digital workforce development platform that is revolutionizing English training for professionals. From its humble beginnings as an MIT research project on using technology to accelerate language acquisition in 2013, Slang has grown into an innovative startup built to address an urgent need for the global workforce: the lack of professional English proficiency. With over 130 courses covering English for highly specialized areas like healthcare, law, finance, and technology, Slang is unlocking higher productivity and helping professionals upskill for the globalized market. Unlike traditional language–learning platforms, Slang was built from the ground up to take into account the needs of organizations in the corporate, education, and public sectors. Slang relies on proprietary artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to provide users with a greatly accelerated and highly adaptive learning experience.
Currently, the company has more than 40,000 active licenses in over ten countries, with offices in the US, Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil. Slang’s extensive catalog of courses allows its 100+ customers to take their teams beyond basic English by designing learning paths that are hyper-customized for each area, industry, or role.
To date, 6.6 billion non-English speakers worldwide have limited access to technical know-how, innovation, and new developments in their fields. The main reason for that is the fact that over 90% of technical and scientific literature is published only in English, cutting people with low or no English proficiency off from cutting-edge developments. This knowledge disparity is a significant barrier to professional development. English-speaking professionals can command an income premium of up to 40%. By closing the professional English literacy gap, Slang’s solutions allow for upward social mobility and better career opportunities for low to middle-income populations that lack access to English knowledge at a professional level.
“In 2011 Marc Andreessen said software is eating the world – ten years later at DILA we believe EdTech, the coupling of software and education content, is propelling the world by enabling anyone with access to the Internet to develop their full potential. We are thrilled to partner with Slang to help them achieve the ambitious mission of developing the largest offering of professional English courses anywhere, and helping all of Mexico and Latin America access world-class opportunities for education and professional development. The labor market has become more competitive and dynamic than ever, and the vast majority of high-quality learning and development material is in English. Billions of people are being left behind and Slang is closing this knowledge gap empowering companies and individuals to reach new heights,” said John Farrell, Venture Partner at DILA, who will be joining Slang’s board of directors.
“We are proud to partner with Slang and support them in their next stage of growth. We are convinced that Slang’s innovative learning approach has the potential to generate profound social impact in the region by removing the English barrier that prevents disadvantaged populations from accessing knowledge and better employment opportunities,” said Santiago Álvarez, Managing Partner of ALIVE, who will also be joining Slang’s board of directors.
Diego Villegas and Kamran Khan, co-founders of Slang, are two extraordinary entrepreneurs with an impressive track record. Their leadership, business management experience, and advanced technological skills have allowed them to develop a unique and innovative platform that helps learners study precisely what they need to be successful professionally, and in an efficient and dynamic way.
“This is an important step in our mission to eradicate professional illiteracy and enable access to learning and opportunity. Our cutting-edge tech is helping us develop a modular and user-centric learning process that integrates with day-to-day work. With our new partners and resources, we’ll take it to the next level. Our vision is to become the industry standard for developing and certifying professional English,” commented Diego Villegas, CEO & Co-Founder.
With this new investment round, the company is preparing to expand its technological infrastructure and launch new features, strengthen its presence in Latin America, and lay the groundwork for its global expansion.