Children today are growing up as digital natives — a term coined by educators and development specialists that refers to the younger generation brought up with digital devices easily accessible. As such, today’s youngsters will grow up familiar with touchscreen interfaces rather than the old symbolic logic of keyboard commands and mouse inputs.
With this in mind, the developers at Quick Language Learning — or Q.L.L. for short — are taking advantage of mobile devices in teaching language skills and cultural immersion.
Q.L.L. is a company that specializes in developing digital learning apps and content. According to co-founder Lulu Yeh, the team has published over 140 Android and iOS apps targeted at children ages three to eight. These apps are in five languages: Traditional and Simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean and Spanish, reaching over 130 countries.
Lulu says Q.L.L.’s apps fall under three categories: language acquisition, children’s stories and general learning. It’s all about learning, after all, and kids get to benefit from the visual, auditory and touch-based interaction that mobile devices offer.
Cultural immersion for the next generation
Lulu’s background is actually in the fashion and corporate world, where she spent more than 10 years as an executive at Gucci Group and Dickson (Ralph Lauren Polo). Being well-traveled has afforded her insights into cultures. “Travelling between Asia and Europe, I saw the need for a better language learning and cultural immersion tool for next generation,” Lulu told e27. She then asked for help from her brother, who is a serial entrepreneur and who actually owns five patents in eduTech in Taiwan, in building on this idea.
The duo then created a Chinese flash card application that can record pronunciations and give scores based on accuracy. “Pocket Chinese Tutor” launched on both iOS and Android. Shortly after that app gained traction among the startup’s global audience, the team was then chosen to be part of the inaugural batch of Appworks Venture, a program in Taiwan similar to Y Combinator.
The team then shifted toward language learning apps. “So I quit my job and start Q.L.L. to do language learning contents on devices. Soon after, we pivoted our business model to publish language learning apps.”
Traction leads to increased uptake
Q.L.L. has had over 4.5 million downloads to date. “At any given time, we have between 10 to 20 titles on the top 100 app list in the education category for both Google Play and the iTunes store,” says Lulu. She adds that having gained traction so far, Q.L.L. is able to push new titles without having to spend for marketing.
The teams apps earn money from a mix of different revenue models. “Based on our 300,000 active monthly users, we are able to monetize through a combination of mobile ads, paid apps and sponsored apps by Kbro Cable TV (the biggest taiwan cable TV with 1.5 million users), Sony TV, other smart TV boxes and tablet manufacturers.”
Lulu and the Q.L.L. team are looking beyond their home market of Taiwan, though, which accounts or 70 percent of its users. The remaining 30 percent is composed of users from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and the US. The team is seeking additional funding in order to expand its user base across the region and globally.
Want to meet the team? Quick Language Learning will be part of the Startup Marketplace at Echelon 2013 this June 4th to 5th.