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Taiwanese startup VoiceTube won FbStart apps of the year!

The interactive English-learning platform has been honored and awarded by the Facebookteam. Besides prizes, VoiceTube could also get collaboration opportunities with Facebook.

Learning English through YouTube might turn studying into a fun activity. The Taiwanese start-up, VoiceTube, has attracted more than a million users to learn English with joy. It has been chosen as one of the “FbStart Apps of the Year” in 2016 from more than one thousand teams from 89 countries. The award includes $50,000 dollars, $50,000 worth of Facebook Ad Credits, and mentorship from Facebook, which means possible collaboration between the two companies.

Caption: Voicetube won FbStart Apps of the Year
Photo by Voicetube

VoiceTube was founded in late 2012. It first started as a website for users to learn language from English-speaking YouTube clips with both English and Chinese subtitles, for free.

Users can adjust the speed of speech, choose to hide or show the subtitles, look up meanings from an online dictionary, and take notes and tests. Users can also click the sentences from the subtitles to go back to the moments where the sentences were said when missing a few seconds of the video. During mid-2014, the company launched its app.

The platform now has 1.5 million members in Taiwan and over 35,000 learning clips from YouTube. Its active users have surpassed 1.8 million (including overseas Chinese-speaking users), growing 30% from last year. VoiceTube will also enter the Japanese market later this year. The team has already created over two thousands clips supporting Japanese subtitles.

Richard Zenn, the co-founder of VoiceTube, previously worked at GroupOn Taiwan and other American companies based in Taiwan. Being surrounded with native English-speakers, he understood the importance of excelling in this second language. Then, he discovered a great resource to learn English – the free YouTube video platform. He gathered people who have the same passion and founded VoiceTube with Halu Hsieh, who now is also the Chief Operating Officer.

What sets VoiceTube apart is that it interacts with users. The video categories go from news, video games, and movies to cartoons. Besides four to five clips uploaded by the team everyday, users can also pick the ones they like and the team will verify then upload the videos. This makes a lot of sense since most people want to learn things from the topics that interest them. Some schools have introduced this online learning platform to the students to inspire their interest in learning English.

In May 2015, VoiceTube launched its paid courses – VoiceTube HERO. It offers four levels of classes, each lasts for a six-month period, and is priced from $100 to $170 dollars. Now 70% of its revenue comes from the paid service and the other 30% from the advertisements.

FbStart Project was created by Facebook in 2015 in order to help startups grow and expand their business. It also selects “FbStart Apps of the Year Awards” every year to honor successful apps from around the world.

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