Mondly, an important Brasov language learning startup founded by brothers Alexandru and Tudor Iliescu, was acquired by the British education company Pearson, a giant that had sales of 3.4 billion pounds (4 billion euros) last year.
The parties did not disclose the value of the transaction.
“Today’s acquisition marks another step in our digital strategy, giving us an exciting foothold in the fast growing direct-to-consumer English learning market and building yet more connectivity across the entire Pearson portfolio,” said Andy Bird, chief executive of Pearson. “Mondly is a fast growing and profitable business that expands our reach and scale in the language learning market and drives growth for the company. This acquisition is strategically important to the Group as well as being accretive and driving shareholder returns.”
“Mondly’s mission has always been to make language learning fun, easy and accessible to everyone. We are excited to be joining forces with Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, to help us achieve our goal on a much larger scale. Together we will work to shape the future of learning languages,” said in his turn Alex Iliescu, CEO and co-founder of Mondly.
Pearson expects this acquisition to accelerate revenue growth from 2023 onwards for our English Language Learning division and continues to expect mid-teens margins for the division by 2025.
The acquisition enables the company to offer a fully integrated market proposition. It also provides synergies and cross-selling opportunities across the portfolio, such as offering the opportunity to bundle English with upskilling and reskilling products through Pearson’s Workforce Skills division. The Mondly team, including the founders, will join Pearson’s English Language Learning division.
Mondly is a leading language learning platform that has been named “Regional App of the Year” by Facebook, “App of the Day” by Apple, and “Editors’ Choice” by Google Play. Launched in 2014, it quickly became a leading app in the mobile space. According to Statista, Mondly is currently in the Top 5 language learning apps worldwide by number of downloads.
In March 2018, the Brasov-based company launched, in collaboration with Google, the MondlyAR application, which uses augmented reality to help users learn foreign languages more easily. Specifically, a virtual teacher talks to the user, asks questions, and corrects their mistakes.