Livemocha Secures $8 Million in Series B Financing
Date: Monday , February 01, 2010
The online language learning community Livemocha has raised $8 million in Series B financing, led by August Capital, with participation from existing investor Maveron. This new infusion of capital takes the company’s total funding to $14 million.
As learning languages online has been picking up a lot of steam with customers, the startup founded by Shirish Nadkarni and Krishnan Seshadrinathan has a hefty list of services to compete with others in the same niche, like Babbel, EnglishCentral, Idapted, italki, Myngle, and Yappr. However, Livemocha seems to be doing quite strongly, having registered more than 4.8 million members in over 200 countries. Nadkarni says, “The demand for our services is global in nature, given the wide-spread interest in learning English and other languages. We have users coming from 200 different countries with countries like the US, Brazil, China, and India being the most prominent.”
Today, the company offers support for six popular languages - English, Spanish, French, Hindi, German, and Mandarin Chinese. According to Nadkarni, there has been a lot of interest in the VC community in investing in education, and particularly in language learning opportunities. “The investment community has seen the success that RosettaStone has had with their recent IPO. Investors see the language learning market to be a huge one that is ripe for disruption from a major online player like Livemocha,” adds Nadkarni.
The Bellevue, Washington based Livemocha is shaking up an $80-100 billion market worldwide with the total market size of around 300-400 million users. The company is particularly innovative because it pairs individuals who can swap lessons in their native languages. For example, if you want to learn Spanish through English, it will locate a person who speaks Spanish and wants to learn English.
Founded at the DEMO conference in September 2007, Livemocha with its 20 employees plans to use the funding to accelerate platform innovation and new partnership launches planned for the next 6-12 months.