Miami-based Open English, an online English language school that has been expanding quickly in Latin America, has secured $43 million in its latest round of financing led by New York-based Insight Venture Partners.
The company, which has received several previous rounds of investment, offers a 12-month program that helps students attain fluency in the English language. It provides the flexibility of live online classes with native English-speaking teachers; students can take as many live classes as they want over the course of the year and have access to advisers. Open English plans to invest in expansion in its core Latin America markets, particularly Brazil.
“Latin America is obviously booming,” said Andres Moreno, co-founder and CEO of Open English. With a burgeoning emerging middle class hungry to learn English, “the traditional brick and mortar schools can’t keep up with the demand. We can.” The company grew 350 percent last year and is poised to grow 300 percent this year, he added.
Open English was founded in Venezuela in 2006 and moved to Miami in 2007. The company began launching its service commercially in 2008. In November of last year, it launched in Brazil and already it is its largest market, Moreno said.
The company, with offices in Miami, Caracas, Bogotá, São Paulo and Panamá, employs 1,000 people (about 40 in its Miami headquarters) and serves more than 50,000 students in 20 countries. Its goal is to serve 80,000 students by the end of the year, Moreno said.
Open English presented and won at Florida International University's inaugural Americas Venture Capital Conference in 2010.
This latest round of investment was led by New York-based Insight Venture Partners, with the participation of California-based Redpoint Ventures and existing investors including Flybridge and Kaszek.
(Photo is of Open English CEO Andres Moreno)