Born in the Silicon Valley, headquartered in the Grand-Duchy and specialising in talking books for kids, TA-DA! is currently negotiating with VCs for a €1 million-seed in order to scale up and add AI and smart-learning functionalities to its didactic products.
Photo: Michelle Glorieux set up her EdTech in the Luxembourg-City Incubator (LCI) / Credits © Mehdi Farahmand / Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce
TA-DA! Language Productions, the Luxembourg-based EdTech specialising in language learning for children has recently released its first audiobooks in bookstores.
In the United States, Barnes & Nobles distributes its books for language and culture learning for 0-14 year olds. In Luxembourg, Ernster is also expected to make them available for sale very soon.
Its “Language Adventures Series” for 0-5 year olds offers stories told and illustrated with self-inquiry activities, all with printed and spoken text and accompanied by music and sound effects.
The books are published in six languages: Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, German, American English and Luxembourgish.
The EdTech also offers a Talking Dictionary Series (for ages 6-14+) that is available in six languages with 720 words spoken by 15 different native speakers. Designed with electronic products in mind, the book also has an earphone jack and Hifi sound.
“I want children to have a screen-free option for learning languages in the cultural context,” explains Michelle Glorieux, the founder and CEO of TA-DA! “because culture is so often forgotten in language teaching.”
The company was founded in 2018 in Silicon Valley and registered in Delaware. Michelle Glorieux, an American, former teacher and journalist, has surrounded herself with a network of developers, technicians – including a multi-award-winning musician and sound engineer – and researchers, notably from Stanford University. She is the author of the stories in her books.
After a 3-year stay in California, she will return to the Belgian province of Luxembourg in early 2021, where she had previously lived for a decade and founded an English school.
She set up her EdTech in the Luxembourg-City Incubator (LCI), while keeping the original site across the Atlantic. The company has 4 full-time employees and 4 consultants.
“I want a capital investment that comes from Luxembourg, because I want to be recognized as part of the country, the society and the local and national economic fabric.”
Scaling up with Luxembourgish capital
According to Glorieux, Luxembourg, a country conducive to multilingualism and multicultural interactions, offers many development opportunities. One of her projects is to help people read and write Luxembourgish: “We have solutions to help families learn the language together, and especially to write it well,” she adds.
She plans to create a book for the Luxembourgish school system and collaborate with schools and teachers on the subject.
For the time being, she plans to enrich her books with other regional languages and linguistic varieties. Not to mention the many projects she has in the pipeline: loose, tactile and sound posters, puzzles, a grammatical cookbook and learning grammar while cooking are some of them.
On the technological side, Michelle Glorieux wants to integrate artificial intelligence, to make her didactic platform and her “iPads without screen” into smart-learning tools. Specifically, she wants to improve her device with digital voice recognition functionalities son that children can better recognize the words they master and to improve their pronunciation. All of this she wants to achieve while decreasing frustration and stress and keeping in mind the children’s needs and learning capabilities.
Currently, Glorieux is looking to raise 1 million euros from investors: “I don’t want money from VCs in Silicon Valley, but I want a capital investment that comes from Luxembourg, because I want to be recognized as part of the country, the society and the local and national economic fabric,” she insists.
This week, TA-DA! is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. “We are moving quickly, to get at least another 250,000 euros to reach our goal,” says Michelle Glorieux.