Language app Busuu acquires Verbling after surpassing 100m users

Ben Heathcote | January 24, 2020

App Deals

Global language app Busuu has announced its acquisition of live video tutoring company Verbling. The double-digit million dollar deal will see the company launch Busuu Live using Verbling’s platform, which will be available to its consumer users and corporate clients.

Busuu has recently surpassed 100 million users across 190 countries, acquiring a new user every three seconds, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing edtech companies. It plans to generate more than $40 million in revenues in 2020, and is currently exploring a future IPO.

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

Founded in San Francisco in 2011 by CEO Mikael Bernstein and CTO Gustav Rydstedt, Verbling has over 10,000 pre-vetted live teachers and offers interactive lessons in almost 60 different languages. 

After attending the prestigious Y-Combinator programme, the startup raised over 4.4m USD from renowned investors such as Learn Capital, DFJ and Bullpen Capital.

“We are very excited to be joining forces with Busuu’s talented and experienced team,” added Mikael Bernstein, co-founder and CEO of 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 purchase, Verbling’s founders will join Busuu. In addition to its expanded team, the company will also open a new office in Madrid, where the company was initially founded in 2008 before moving its headquarters to London in 2012.

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