busuu.com raises €3.5m and moves its headquarters to London


busuu.com, the world’s largest social network for language learning, has just closed a Series A investment round of €3.5 million from PROfounders Capital and private investors. PROfounders Capital investment partner Brent Hoberman (lastminute.com co-founder and serial entrepreneur) will join the startup’s board of advisers.

busuu.com already has more than 25 million users in over 200 countries and is growing at a rate of 40,000 new members per day. The company announced that the investment will be used to further improve existing products, develop new ones, grow the team and significantly expand global reach. It has also moved its headquarters from Madrid to London in order to scale up its operations.

“We are thrilled to welcome on board Brent Hoberman and the PROfounders Capital team,” said Bernhard Niesner, busuu.com CEO and co-founder. “Brent’s valuable experience in building leading global internet companies will help us achieve our aim of becoming the world leader in language education.”

busuu.com plans to further improve its online and mobile language learning courses and develop fresh products for new target segments. In addition, the young company will increase the size of its team by accessing London’s technology talent pool.

The startup’s existing shareholders include well-known entrepreneurs and business angels such as Johann Hansmann and Martin Varsavsky (founder of Fon).

busuu.com offers 12 audio-visual language courses that include direct interaction with native speakers within its community. The courses are available both online and as mobile apps for Android and iPhone. The social network is experiencing strong growth especially in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia and China, where language learning is not a hobby but a necessity for improving work prospects. According to the British Council, an estimated 1 billion people worldwide are currently learning English. busuu.com was founded by Bernhard Niesner and Adrian Hilti in Madrid in early 2008.