Dec 10, 2020 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- The business of digitally learning foreign languages is alive and well in the covid economy, but getting exposure to the market is not easy, as most companies are privately held. In August, Rosetta Stone left the public domain after Cambium Learning Group agreed to pay $792 million for it, representing an 87.5% premium for the company they day before media outlets broke the deal. Cambium wasn’t afraid to pay up as it competes for share in an online language learning market forecast by Verified Market Research to grow 10.2% annually to nearly $26 billion in 2027.
Up-and-comer Hello Pal International Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206713317/delayed CA:HP +6.76% (otcpk:HLLPF), the developer of an eponymous app as well as Travel Pal and Language Pal apps, is growing in leaps and bounds, growth that is undergirded by consumer appetite to use technology to learn a foreign language by socializing in real world interaction. Much like Rosetta Stone and Babbel, Hello Pal’s learning model is based upon the fact that speaking a language is the most practical way to learn it. However, Hello Pal brings a unique approach insomuch that its application incorporates a social component, leaning into what GoAbroad calls the absolute best way to learn a language: make friends.
The app – which is a bridge to making friends and not just communicating with existing ones – can translate text messages in a bi-directional manner for a user or it can provide one of thousands of pre-recorded audio phrases that the user can practice, record and send to another person for real-time communication.
The app incentivizes people to livestream, albeit gaming, cooking or a stroll around their hometown to show off where they live. In fact, HP management sees travel as a central feature of the platform where foreigners can come learn about a city, its culture. sites and language, ahead of a visit. To say thank you, users can give livestream hosts "charms," virtual currency built-in to the Hello Pal platform that can be redeemed for cash or cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ethereum.
To lend some color, think of Hello Pal as a sort of a blend of InterActiveCorp. /zigman2/quotes/205118493/composite IAC -4.07% , Babble and Twitter /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR +3.71% along with a dash of specialized forums where people can get expert, first-hand information.
Live streams and charm transactions are the primary revenue generator for Vancouver-based Hello Pal and the figures demonstrate their growing popularity. Launched in beta form last summer, there were about 10,000 daily active livestream users (DAUs) in March. Through November, the company can boast over 5.2 million registered users and a 50% increase in livestream DAUs to over 15,000 people communicating across 200+ countries.
Revenue has topped C$1.0 million per month for seven consecutive months, including exceeding $1.5 million in September, October and now, as disclosed today, November. With record revenue of C$1.55 million in November, the monthly average for 2020 has climbed to approximately C$1.0 million, another milestone box Hello Pal management can check.
Impressively, the growth has nearly been totally organic, with negligible marketing expense by Hello Pal.
Commenting on reaching the $1 million per month milestone, Hello Pal founder and Chairman KL Wong sees additional growth on the horizon, stating, “We will continue to refine our user experience, roll out new products and features, and operate in increasingly efficient manner as Hello Pal continues its growth plans.”
Shares of HP are popping on the upbeat revenue news, surging 36% in early afternoon trading on Thursday to 24.5 cents.
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