Rosetta Stone announced that it has acquired Seattle-based Livemocha, one of the world’s largest online language-learning communities, for $8.5 million in cash. Bringing with it a robust and extensible cloud-based learning platform and a community of over 16 million Livemocha members, the transaction accelerates Rosetta Stone’s transition to cloud-based learning solutions.
“We are in the process of transforming Rosetta Stone to be the most dynamic and ubiquitous technology-based learning platform in the world,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Swad. “Our acquisition of Livemocha will help accelerate that transformation. With Livemocha and its vibrant online community on our side, Rosetta Stone will reach more people and change more lives than ever before.” Rosetta Stone also expects the Livemocha acquisition to help accelerate geographic expansion, as Livemocha’s community is quite global and has a high concentration of users in China, Russia and South America.
TechCrunch says that it’s worth noting that Livemocha has raised a total of $19 million over the course of its existence the past six years. While an acquisition is almost always good news, the company clearly exited for less than it accrued from institutional investors the past six years — and even less than the expected valuation from previous funding rounds.
The Spanish-language e-learning sector in particular and the language e-learning sector in general has quite a few players.
Voxy, a language-learning service that turns real-world content into personalized language lessons, announced a Series A investment of US $2.8million last year. Voxy belongs to a group of companies who provide different offerings to the Hispanic demographic mostly through the mobile phone; the group also includes Edioma and Lexicon Marketing, although the latter is less mobile phone based.
Another player in Latin markets is Open English, which provides off-line and online classes. Last year it raised more than US $40 million in a financing round. Open English mostly targets Latin American markets, although launches in the U.S. Hispanic market and Spain are going to happen soon.