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Already an established social network for people learning different languages, Italki announced that it will branch out as a marketplace for users to find relevant teachers and tutors. The idea is to give every user the option to connect with a native speaker for extra help from anywhere in the world.
Because most of the instructors listed in this marketplace will be independent, they will each be able to determine their own fees. Students will be able to rate and provide feedback for tutors they have worked with in the past to help prospective clients make informed decisions. Founders of Shanghai, China-based Italki couch the company as a job-generator as well, potentially creating up to 10,000 part and full-time jobs for language instructors who might otherwise be unemployed.
Previously, the company offered free language-learning resources, including teaching videos, educational wikis and a social network to find regular language partners.
The site was founded in 2006 and connects people speaking more than 100 languages. It brought in $150,000 in angel funding in 2007.