It’s my pleasure to announce FabuLingua won today’s City Spotlight: Austin pitch-off! The company competed against knowRX Health and Vertikal X on today’s TechCrunch Live episode and won free exhibition space at TechCrunch Disrupt this October.
Mark Begert pitched his company to three Austin-based investors who found his messaging and pitch to be clear, concise and easy to follow.
Mark explained throughout his four-minute pitch that his company teaches kids Spanish through games and stories. He likened FabuLingua to Prodigy Education’s ultra-popular education product that teaches math through a similar gamification service.
In FabuLingua, users (kids) interact with stories and games that unlock new functions as the child progresses. The company calls it invisible learning, where the text is in Spanish but read aloud in English. Along the way, the service drops the English helpers and presents the child with only Spanish instructions. As the child explores the FabuLingua world, more stories unlock, enabling more teaching opportunities. The service is available through a monthly subscription, and is available on Android and iOS devices.
The company was founded by Leslie and Mark Bergert. While Mark is the CEO, he made it clear in his pitch that Leslie, as a polyglot, leads the direction of the company. It’s her passion of teaching languages, he says, that pushes the company forward. She was raised in a multicultural, bilingual environment and studied linguistics at Oxford University along her way to earning a psychology degree. She later earned her masters degree in social anthropology from Cambridge University.
The company says it has more than 80,000 downloads, 15,000 registered users and over 1,000 families paying for the subscription.
FabuLingua is based out of Austin, Texas, and raised $1.3 million in pre-seed funding rounds. The company is currently raising capital through Wefunder, where it raised $322,983 with a $7.5 million valuation cap. The campaign is active, and FabuLingua is still accepting new investors through Wefunder.
Two other companies presented in the Austin pitch-off. David Franklin pitched knowRX Health, which connects with sponsors and collaborates with physicians and builds a community of patients for clinical research. Charlie Sarmiento pitched Vertikal X, a marketplace for athletes based in blockchain technology.
Special thanks to the wonderful Austin-based judges: Krishna Srinivasan, co-founder of LiveOak Venture Partners; Bryan Chambers, president of Capital Factory; and Sarah Brand, founding general partner at True Wealth Ventures.