PROfounders Capital and a group of private investors are leading a funding round into busuu.com, with the business relocating from Madrid to London as part of the transaction.
Entrepreneur Brent Hoberman, who led his lastminute.com business through 14 acquisitions and a subsequent IPO, is an investment partner at PROfounders Capital and has joined the board of busuu.com.
According to the business, busuu.com has 25 million users in 200 countries. It will use the €3.5 million (£2.8 million) investment to improve its existing products, develop new ones and expand its global reach.
Its social network offers 12 audio-visual language courses which are available online and via mobile apps on Android and iPhone.
The company is named after the Busuu language of Cameroon. According to an ethnological study from the 1980s, Busuu is spoken by only 8 people.
The start-up’s existing shareholders include entrepreneurs and business angels such as Johann Hansmann and Martin Varavsky.
Hoberman says that he and PROfounders Capital are ‘really impressed’ with busuu.com’s achievements given its limited resources.
‘We are looking forward to supporting the company in its future growth plans and shaking up the global language learning market,’ he adds.
Busuu.com’s previous fundraising efforts have seen it raise undisclosed angel rounds in February 2010 and April 2011.
Bernard Niesner, busuu.com CEO and co-founder, comments, ‘We are thrilled to welcome on board Brent Hoberman and the PROfounders Capital team.
‘Brent’s valuable experience in building leading global internet companies will help us achieve our aim of becoming the world leader in language education.’
London-based PROfounders Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm backed by entrepreneurs. Its focus is on the digital media and technology space.