Busuu took its name from an endangered language in the Furu-Awa region of Cameroon, currently spoken by only three people. It is a guiding star for the company, although it has recently updated its platform to focus on the major languages.
Launched in 2008, Busuu built out its platform on the web first, similar to competitor Memrise. The key difference was while Memrise built out most of its functionality through its community, Busuu focused on in-house material.
This has led to the premium version of the mobile app, which offers one-to-one tutorials with validated teachers, personalised study plans and AI-powered grammar training.
Busuu does have some community features, for example a native speaker can correct other users who are trying to learn the language. The user can then in turn either write or speak the language they are learning and be advised by native speakers.
Like Duolingo, Busuu offers a freemium version with adverts at the end of each session. Non-premium users are only able to learn one language at a time and some lessons are unavailable until they upgrade.
In comparison to other language learning platforms, Busuu focuses on sentences and phrases that are likely to be used in conversation. Through this, a user may more quickly be able to speak, at least in passing, to native speakers when on holiday.
In January 2020, Busuu said it planned to go public in the future, but has not provided any follow up information on this potential IPO. Duolingo recently went public on the NASDAQ and Babbel is preparing an IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
In 2021, student media startup Chegg announced it was acquiring Busuu for $436 million.
We have collected data and statistics on Busuu. Read on below to find out more.
Busuu key statistics
- Busuu generated $45 million revenue in 2021, a 25% year-on-year increase
- The app has over 100 million registered users
- Over 10,000 live teachers available on the platform for 1-to-1 tutoring
|Launch date||January 2008|
|People||Bernhard Niesner (co-founder, CEO), Joonas Kukkonen (CTO), Adrian Hilti (co-founder)|
Busuu made $45 million revenue in 2021, primarily through subscriptions to its premium service.
Busuu annual revenue 2017 to 2021 ($mm)
Source: Company data
Busuu registered users
Busuu has had 120 million people register to its platform, with 500,000 active subscribers.
Busuu annual registered users 2016 to 2021 (mm)
Source: Company data
Busuu vs competitors: registered users
Want to learn more? Read our language learning sector profile
What is the average time spent on Busuu weekly?
In 2018, Busuu users spent 60 minutes on the app a week
How many tutors are available on Busuu?
Over 10,000 pre-vetted language tutors are available
What is the most active countries?
Russian users are the most active, followed by Turkey and Vietnam
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