Estonian language learning startup concludes €1.5 million partnership with the EU

The Estonian language learning startup, Lingvist, has concluded its €1.5 million partnership with the EU Horizon 2020 programme, having used the funding to further develop its learning platform.

Lingvist received the €1.5 million grant in May 2015 from the European SME Instrument initiative. According to the company, the grant provided it with the resources to increase the efficiency of its software, bringing the language learning app “closer to its goal of making language learning 10 times faster”.

The Horizon programme also helped the company expand its language offerings, creating new courses such as Spanish, French, German, Russian and English.

Learning language in 200 hours

Lingvist was set up in 2014 by Mait Müntel, who developed the prototype software to learn French in 200 hours. Encouraged by his progress, he launched it as a startup.

The company’s software is based on statistical analysis and adaptive machine learning algorithms. In a personalised approach, using mathematical optimisation, the tool tailors tasks according to one’s knowledge and skills. It takes languages apart and arranges them into micro-lessons that each learner completes in the order that is the most efficient for them.

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s biggest research and innovation programme, with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years. The programme enables companies to focus on research and development.


Cover image courtesy of Lingvist.

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor of Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain and the UK, he now resides in the United States. He loves to write and besides contributing to Estonian World and some occasional blogging, he writes for other media outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at