McGraw-Hill Education, one of the “big three” in education publishing, has recently purchased a $6.5 million minority equity stake in busuu, an online social network for language learning. The deal ensures that McGraw-Hill has exclusive global rights to distribute busuu to B2B customers, including schools and private language learning corporations. The two companies will also start a plan to incorporate McGraw-Hill Education’s adaptive learning technology to busuu products. Busuu is named after the critically endangered Busuu language of Cameroon and has over 55 million users with 12 languages to study. While working through language lessons, users from around the world interact through chat boxes or correct errors of students studying a user’s native language. Bussu also partnered with another of the education publishing giants, Pearson English, last year with the introduction of the GSET (Global Scale of English Test). The GSET allows online learners of English to measure their language proficiency in an accessible and affordable way. However, Pearson’s agreement was an exclusive six-month launch partnership and McGraw-Hill seems to have more ambitious goals for the future.
“We see tremendous opportunities with the powerful combination McGraw‐Hill Education’s global reach and the scale and innovative mobile solutions of busuu,” said Mark Dorman, president of McGraw-Hill Education’s International & Professional group. “The global market for language instruction totals $60 billion annually and is growing rapidly. The innovative and mobile busuu solution complements our digital offerings and opens a number of new sales opportunities for our company.” Bernhard Niesner, CEO of busuu, also added, “For busuu, this alliance allows us to quickly grow our market penetration with a trusted name such as McGraw-Hill Education. We are especially excited to explore adding McGraw-Hill Education’s adaptive capabilities to our platform and believe this will revolutionize the way people learn languages.”
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