When a young Estonian family moved temporarily to Spain, they were faced with a dilemma: as there was no educational content for their children in their native language of Estonian, would the kids be educated in Spanish? Or would the parents—Kelly and Mikk—simply make their own content?
Being from Estonia has its advantages of course, as it’s a tech-savvy country with a reputation for being the start-up capital of the world. When the pandemic started, the entire country of only a bit more than a million people switched over to full distance-learning like pressing a button. Kelly and Mikk decided to press that button again, and this is how ALPA Kids was created.
Online educational content, focusing on learning, and using games, is what ALPA Kids is all about. Kelly has a linguistic background, and Mikk has ample experience in tech, making them the perfect pair to launch such an endeavor. They quickly realised, however, that their app for young children aged 3–8 had so much more global potential, especially as it complemented existing school curricula so well. As English is unquestionably the dominant language used in ed-tech and online content around the world, this naturally creates a niche market for much smaller languages. But how could children speaking these smaller languages be reached?
While the app itself was being developed, Kelly, who comes from a family of teachers, and Mikk worked closely with kindergartens, education researchers, and other experts to build just the right content and games that would be used in the app. Meanwhile, the young couple had moved back to Estonia, and like many of their fellow Estonians, they live in the middle of a forest, far from any cities. This distance nevertheless proved no hindrance to the ongoing creation of their distance-learning app.
Enter Grow with Google
With a ready product, a growing staff, and the help of some great tools from Google, ALPA Kids was now ready to launch globally. As a start-up, however, the team of course had been faced with doing all the legwork themselves, ranging from product development, to marketing and communications. This is when Kelly and Mikk discovered the digital skills training program known as “Grow with Google”.
This simple program provides direct contact with top-tier coaches, and is easily usable for absolute beginners and experts alike. The training on Google Ads proved to be the most fruitful for Kelly and Mikk to expand Alpa kids to new markets. After learning more deeply how to use Google Ads and how to utilise its newest updates, they were able to identify and target potential users for generating new leads in export markets.
The strategy has worked! Building useful content in the app and using smart technologies for communication, ALPA Kids is now available in 13 languages, and grew by seven times in just two months. After expanding to India, the app went from 60,000 users to over a million downloads! Google Ads is Alpa Kids’ main lead generation tool for new markets, and Kelly says “Using Google’s tools has become as easy and intuitive for us as adults as using ALPA kids is for children.”