Brainchild of Paul Gollash, former Director of Corporate Development at Virgin, Voxy is an English learning system aimed at people that are on-the-go. Although they have a web app, Voxy is heavily focused on the mobile application world. The app takes news articles relevant to your location, and translates them into easily digestible 100-word snippets. Users can set the difficulty level for their translations and can select individual words for help.
Not just for businesspeople, Voxy is for anyone that needs or wants to learn English. The app will use GPS to learn your location and give you words and phrases that you may need; if you are near a food cart at 53rd and 6th street in Manhattan for example, the app might teach you how to say “chicken and rice, please!” The app can even take and translate your text messages for learning on the go without paying attention to the world outside of your own circles. If that’s not enough to keep your interest, the app goes further to make learning fun, giving points out as well as having games for learners to compete against their friends with. Regardless of what content you choose to learn through, the result is the same: an easy to navigate and engaging application with topics always relevant to your interests.
Paul Gollash is an international businessman with startup experience in Santiago, Madrid, Chicago, and New York City, but ultimately chose to settle down his Voxy project in New York. Located on Broadway in the NoHo neighborhood of New York City, Voxy’s HQ houses 19 employees. Ranging from Americans who by their own admission speak Spanish “un poquito”, to native speakers that learned English as a second language as adults, the Voxy team is varied enough to keep everything running smoothly and ensuring it doesn’t stray from it’s original goals: an easy to understand language learning app that is actually applicable to the real world.
Launched in September of 2010, the company has always attracted investor attention. By October of 2010, the company had already raised over $600,000 and saw a number of people adopt their software. Fast forward to today, and the company is sitting on $4.2 million after three rounds of investor seeking, with over half of that coming in it’s series A. The venture capitalists involved all are experienced in the investment world and deem Voxy to be a worthy investment.
And judging from the userbase, they would be correct. Voxy has more than 750,000 users with more than 50 percent being frequent users of the program. The average length of time spent using the app is around 10 minutes, which is exactly what Voxy sets out to do. The mobile app market is very much focused on “filler time” or “inbetweeners”; activities people can do in between real ones, like waiting for the subway, or sitting at the doctor’s office. With people logging in daily for 10 minutes while they sit in line at starbucks, they can get one or two articles read and learn a little English on the way. An overwhelming majority of users are based in emerging markets mentioned before like Brazil, Argentina and the like, proving that business is booming and Voxy is filling a real, tangible void.
Currently, Voxy is available for Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese speakers, but that is expected to change in the future. Also on the company’s 2012 roadmap is a full fledged tablet app, allowing people to learn on the go with a larger and more organized view.
Voxy is available now on Android and iOS, and on the web at http://voxy.com/.