SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 14, 2011) - PlaySay Inc., the first of its kind platform for fun, rewarding, immersive and social foreign language learning on Facebook, officially launched today at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2011. By dragging and dropping pictures into a flexible interface, PlaySay users construct the meaning (semantics) of what they want to say, and the system produces the correct foreign language phrase (syntax) in real time. PlaySay's language offerings are currently limited to Spanish, but the company plans to add new languages in the coming months. The company is backed by Kevin Yu, former director of PayPal Japan; Sean Glass, founder of Higher One; and Novak Biddle Venture Partners, the most active VC investors in the education space nationally.
PlaySay also announced today that it has secured a content licensing deal with McGraw-Hill Professional, one of the largest publishers of language learning books and materials. PlaySay's Premium Content Users will be able to access professional publisher content to further enhance their language learning.
TechCrunch Disrupt is TechCrunch's marquee conference in San Francisco attracting over 2,000 leading technology innovators and investors. The format combines top thought-leader discussions with new product and company launches by an elite group of 27 startups from around the world.
"Given our deep experience with young education companies, particularly those with an IT component, we are very excited about PlaySay's potential to bring foreign language learning into the 21st century via its unique Facebook platform," said Phil Bronner, general partner at Novak Biddle Venture Partners. "The business model allows for several paths to monetization, which makes the company attractive from a growth perspective."
"Our ability to leverage the natural flow of communication within Facebook creates a unique immersive language learning environment and prepares learners for real world challenges -- whether it's ordering a burrito in Spanish or hailing a taxicab in Mandarin," said Ryan Meinzer, founder and CEO of PlaySay Inc. "PlaySay users easily construct and comprehend conversations with friends without rote memorization, unrelated content or independent drills."
PlaySay Inc. is among an elite group of startup companies selected to present at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2011.
About PlaySay Inc.
PlaySay makes language learning fun and social through a first-of-its-kind platform on Facebook. Completely immersive, highly engaging and pedagogically sound, PlaySay's language learning method enables friends to learn and communicate in a foreign language using pictures and sound -- with no English translation involved. Based in Washington, DC, the company continues to innovate with one mission in mind: to advance cultural awareness and international fellowship through language. For more information, please visit: http://playsay.com.
About TechCrunch Disrupt
TechCrunch Disrupt (http://disrupt.techcrunch.com), Sept 12-14 2011, at San Francisco Design Center Concourse, 635 8th Street (at Brannan), is TechCrunch's marquee conference in San Francisco attracting over 2,000 leading technology innovators and investors and over 150 new startups. The format combines top thought-leader discussions with new product and company launches. Morning executive discussions debate the most timely disruptions in media, advertising and technology. Afternoons host the Startup Battlefield where 27 new companies will launch for the first time on stage, selected to present from more than 1,000 applications received from around the world. Another 200 early-stage startups will exhibit in Startup Alley. TechCrunch will award a $50,000 grand prize along with other award recognitions at the conclusion of the conference.
TechCrunch (www.techcrunch.com) is a leading technology media network, dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies. Founded in 2005, TechCrunch and its network of websites reach over 8 million unique visitors and more than 25 million page views per month. TechCrunch operates a global network of websites including dedicated properties in Europe and Japan as well as specialized industry websites including MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, and TechCrunchIT. TechCrunch's CrunchBase, is the leading, open database about start-up companies, people and investors. In addition to Disrupt, TechCrunch hosts other conferences and events, including The Crunchies Awards and various meet-ups worldwide serving as community platforms for industry conversation and collaboration.