Monday 23 October 2017

Irish online language start-up in €3.75m China deal

CCCC HQ at Hefei, in the Anhui province of China
CCCC HQ at Hefei, in the Anhui province of China
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

An Irish technology firm has secured a partnership with a Chinese vocational organisation to roll out its English language learning programme to 400 college campuses in the region.

The agreement between Onwards Learning Ltd and China Computer Correspondence College (CCCC) aims to give 1 million Chinese students access to its cloud-based solution LearnOnEnglish.com.

The technology is to be rolled out over a three year period, and the deal is valued at an impressive €3.75m.

Offering a range of language learning resources and assessment tools, LearnOnEnglish also provides international accreditation to student users.

Co-founder of the new firm, Carlo Crighton, said he is pleased and encouraged with the early commercial success of the business.

“This long term agreement with CCCC's college network is indicative of the potential that exists for our language learning web-app ecosystem,” he told Independent.ie.

“CCCC understand and share in our vision to make the best resources in language learning available to everyone in a single online location."

Cormac Kelly and Boyu Zhang make up the trio of founders of Onwards Learning, which currently operates across three offices in Dublin, Shenzhen and Neijing.

Mr Crighton said that he believes the firm can expand their footprint in Asia as they have already established “quite significant top tier contacts.”

The aim of the company is to eventually establish a reciprocal-style programme for an international student base, armed with the firm hold in China.

“We intend to make language resources available to everyone; we use the motto ‘your language, your way, your marketplace’,” he adds.

“This kind of deal – of which we have many in the works – signifies this vision for the future of our firm.”

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