LiveMocha arrived on the scene around six years ago and built up a language learning community of 16 million members, who could connect with other language learners and buy affordable (US$52/month) online English training or access more bespoke training and free online teaching tools in another 37 languages.
The announcement by LiveMocha’s CEO this week brought a range of concerned comments from community members about price rises and the fact that they enjoyed having a choice between LiveMocha and its more expensive competitor.
But CEO Michael Shutzler said the deal would mean new powerful tools and more languages available.
According to TechCrunch, Rosetta Stone was interested in LiveMocha because of its global reach, with a high concentration of users in China, Russia and South America. Over 50% of all LiveMocha members are learning English.
At Rosetta Stone, CEO Steve Swad confirmed that this would help the company’s global aspirations. “We are in the process of transforming Rosetta Stone to be the most dynamic and ubiquitous technology-based learning platform in the world,” he said.
And Chief Product Officer, West Stringfellow, explained that the acquisition meant Rosetta Stone could evolve its CD-Rom based offering to new cloud-based modes of delivery.
“We are transforming Rosetta Stone to be the most dynamic and ubiquitous technology-based learning platform”
“Livemocha will enable us to quickly migrate our legacy products to a future-proof technology stack with a modern, cloud-based architecture and contemporary means of distribution,” he said. “But even more exciting, it gives our customers more choice. Livemocha presents us with a low-cost or even free alternative product to offer learners around the world.”
In an interesting article in The Seattle Times, Shutzler said that despite LiveMocha’s social community origins, its business model was all about paid-for tuition. “You’ve got a lot of stuff going on in Livemocha that is about language exchange and sharing a learning experience,” he explained. “But the actual solution is teaching.”