Post-it note-based language tool nets venture capital funding from Midven

A business which is using Post-it notes to help with language learning has secured investment from venture capital firm Midven.


A business which is using Post-it notes to help with language learning has secured investment from venture capital firm Midven.

A £300,000 investment from Midven’s Early Advantage Fund is set to finance the manufacture of Learning Labs FlashSticks language aids.

Each FlashSticks pack provides 200 printed Post-it notes with commonly-used foreign words, translations and icons on them. Learning Labs says that the idea behind them is that users stick the notes in convenient places and then learn a language as part of a daily routine.

The FlashSticks also have an app extension which lets users hover a smartphone or tablet over a note to hear the pronunciation.

Veejay Lingiah, director at Learning Labs, comments, ‘The timing of the investment enables us to implement the next stage of our growth plans.

‘FlashSticks has received a tremendous reaction from language educators and learners, as both an engaging and fun way to learn.’

To date, FlashSticks has secured a partnership with high street retailer WH Smith which has seen the chain stock French, Spanish, Italian and German versions of the product. According to a statement, FlashSticks will also be available via online marketplace Amazon.

Lingiah adds, ‘We have had particularly strong interest from primary and secondary schools, given the high levels of engagement that FlashSticks provide and the opportunity to extend learning beyond the classroom environment.’

More on Midven’s investments:

Midven’s Early Advantage fund was set up at the end of 2009 to finance early stage and small businesses within the West Midlands. The £8 million pot was created through investment from the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, including a grant from the European Regional Development Fund.

Duncan Kerr, investment director at Midven, says, ‘Globally, some 1.2 billion are currently learning a foreign language, which indicates a significant opportunity to market the product to consumers of all ages.

‘We have been very impressed with the progress Learning Labs has continued to make with partners, such as securing their significant presence in WH Smith stores.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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