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#EdTech pioneer acquires leading live video tutoring platform in industry shake up

Double-digit million dollar acquisition, as Busuu accelerates growth to over 100m users across 190 countries, eyeballing future IPO

Busuu, one of the world’s most popular language-learning platforms, today announced that it has acquired the live video tutoring company Verbling. The double-digit million dollar acquisition sees Busuu expand into the live video tutoring space for its consumer users and corporate clients.

Busuu recently surpassed 100 million users globally, acquiring one new user every three seconds. This makes Busuu one of the world’s fastest-growing EdTech companies, disrupting the growing, $60 billion language learning industry. The company, which reached cash flow break-even last year, plans to generate over $40 million in revenues in 2020, eyeing to go public in the future.

Verbling was founded in San Francisco in 2011 by the Swedish co-founders Mikael Bernstein (CEO) and Gustav Rydstedt (CTO) who met while studying at Stanford University. After attending the prestigious Y-Combinator program, Verbling raised over 4.4m USD from renowned investors such as Learn Capital, DFJ and Bullpen Capital. The platform has over 10,000 pre-vetted live teachers and offers interactive 1-1 lessons in nearly 60 different languages. 

“No matter how smart technology becomes, language will always be about human interaction – which is exactly why Busuu was built around a learning community,” commented Bernhard Niesner, Co-Founder and CEO, Busuu.

“Offering live video tutoring through our acquisition of Verbling is a natural progression for our business, and gives us the potential to expand beyond just language learning in the future.”

“We are very excited to be joining forces with Busuu’s talented and experienced team,” commented Mikael Bernstein, Co-Founder and CEO, Verbling. “Combining our world-class tutors with Busuu’s AI-powered platform will enable language learners across the globe to reach proficiency even faster.”

Following the acquisition, Verbling’s team members, including co-founders Mikael Bernstein (CEO) and Gustav Rydstedt (CTO) will join Busuu. In addition to its expanded team, Busuu will also open a new office in Madrid, where the company was initially founded in 2008 before moving its headquarters to London in 2012. 

Busuu will launch Busuu Live using Verbling’s platform, which will be made available to the company’s 100 million consumer users and 200+ corporate clients in the coming months. With the addition of Busuu Live, Busuu is by far the most comprehensive language-learning product on the market, offering AI-powered grammar and vocabulary training, multimedia lessons designed by experts, and content from world-leading publishers such as The New York Times, The Economist and El Pais.

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