INVESTMENT FOR BUSUU: London-based busuu, which claims to be the world's largest "social network for language learning" won a $6.7 million (£6 million) minority investment from McGraw-Hill. In addition McGraw-Hill will have exclusive rights to distribute busuu to business clients which include schools, language institutions and corporations. And McGraw-Hill and busuu execs say they're intrigued by the possibility to add McGraw-Hill's adaptive-learning technology to busuu's products.
Busuu got its start in 2008. It's currently adding as many as 100,000 users each day and now serves 55 million language learners. There are both free and paid audio-visual language courses. Best of all, busuu connects language learners around the world so that students can connect with native speakers via video chat.
The company has a strong presence in Brazil, Russia, China, Turkey, Germany and the US and offers support for 12 languages. About two-thirds of busuu's users rely on mobile platforms to use the technology.
Including this investment, busuu has raised $11.4 million from investors including PROfounders Capital, and a number of angel investors.
This is McGraw-Hill's first investment in language programs--or social networks, for that matter.
Busuu is named for the Busuu language in Cameroon, spoken by a brave band of eight people who put the plight of their endangered language into song. Busuu also celebrates the whistled language of Silbo Gomero from the Spanish island of La Gomera.