Busuu, the London-based leader in language learning, has acquired Verbling in a double-digit million dollar deal.
In the $60 billion language learning industry, Busuu aims to be the most comprehensive product on the market, which is why the business is buying Verbling, a live-video tutoring platform. So far, the London-based edtech company offers AI-powered grammar and vocabulary training, multimedia lessons designed by experts, and content from premiere publishers such as The New York Times, The Economist and El Pais. Founded in Madrid in 2008 (headquarters moved to London in 2012), Busuu now has 100 million users, acquiring one new user every three seconds across 190 countries. In addition to individual users, over 200 corporate clients use the platform to train their employees, including Puma, Uber, Inditex, and DHL. The business reached cash flow break-even last year, plans to generate over $40 million in revenues in 2020, with an eye on a future IPO. Verbling, founded in San Francisco by two Swedish entrepreneurs, is an online language tutoring platform that connects more than 10,000 professional teachers with language learners through live video. The video tutoring consists of interactive one-on-one 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 Bernstein and Gustav Rydstedt (CTO) will join Busuu. The California startup’s platform will provide the foundation of Busuu Live, which will launch in the coming months.