8 September 2020
Unsplash © Adam Solomon

Languagetech: 10 startups transforming language learning in the UK

As the language learning market is estimated to be valued up to £21.4B by 2025, we compiled a list of some of the most innovative UK-based language tech companies highlighting the latest tools and services helping people to learn a new language.

Since 2010, Memrise has specialised in combining cognitive science, powerful tech and entertaining content to make language learning genuinely recreational. This language tech offers 200 language combinations across 24 languages on their website, iOS and Android apps. Combining brain science and humour, the company aims to enrich people’s consciousness and help people achieve confident, real-world language skills in just a few short months.

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Fluentify is a fast-growing language learning startup based in London, offering 30-minute one-to-one video sessions with qualified mother-tongue English tutors, via their secure, integrated video conferencing platform. The platform is available 24/7, which means you can learn any time you want from your computer, tablet or phone. The platform envisions the creation of a personalised learning plan based on your level and goals, as well as tools for monitoring your progress. To date they have raised $2.3M.

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Chatterbox is a language-learning platform connecting the linguistic talent and cultural insights of refugees with language learners in lessons conducted both online and in-person. It was founded by Mursal Hedayat, an Afghani refugee whose mother struggled to find work, despite speaking four languages. Based in London, courses are available for organisations, individuals or universities, and a wide range of languages are offered include Bengali, Somali, Swahili, and Urdu.

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Since 2016, Lingumi has created the world’s best English lessons for children, available whenever they want to learn. By turning teaching on its head, children will learn to speak English from scratch, using lessons designed by Lingumi Teachers, delivered via powerful technology. With interactive learning games, AI voice technology, and confidence-boosting tasks, 2-6-year-olds can begin speaking English confidently and quickly.

Discover Lingumi


Founded in 1991 by entrepreneurs Dick Howeson and Andrew Ashe, uTalk is driven by a passion for adventures in languages anywhere in the world. For 25 years, the company has worked with consumers, companies and colleges as well as forming partnerships with major businesses such as Emirates Airline, Tui and EasyJet. UTalk has also founded the uTalk Challenge (formerly the Junior Language Challenge) encouraging children to learn languages.

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Founded in 2018 by Stuart Barrass and Patrick Allen, Kaizen Languages is bringing the future of language learning to the world. Starting with Japanese, the startup helps language learners practice speaking anywhere and anytime by messaging and calling personal tutors powered by AI using conversation directly from their smartphones. 

Discover Kaizen Languages


Launched in 2004, Language Trainers aims to provide business and non-business clients from all over the world with personalised language lessons. The language expert tailors every course to address customers’ preferences, objectives and schedules. Clients can then learn whichever language they want, no matter how uncommon it may be, at a time and place that suits them.

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Created in Cheltenham in 2017, Language Revolution thinks language learning in the UK is in crisis, so with its podcast, it aims to rethink and reshape how we perceive languages in the UK, and how we teach them to everyone from babies through to the elderly.

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Created in Birmingham in 2013, Kidslingo believes in exposing children to languages from a young age, with research linking many benefits to the early uptake of a foreign language, not least a greater linguistic ability later in life. The company focuses on teaching Spanish and French to babies, toddlers and children through engaging songs, games, Makaton, storytelling and drama.

DIscover Kidslingo


Established in Birmingham in 2012, FlashSticks – by Learning Labs & FlashAcademy HQ – is a small startup with a particular love for languages. From linguists to developers, designers to teachers, the company aims to help learners with the common challenge of ‘lack of momentum’. Using unique language Post-it notes help make it easy to learn new words every day and with the FlashAcademy app, learners can also point their device at any note to get help from a video tutor.

Discover FlashSticks