Rosetta Stone nabs online language biz Livemocha to accelerate cloud path

Rosetta Stone has long been the dominant force in language learning software, but it's high time to cross that border to the cloud.

Rosetta Stone, arguably the leader in foreign language education software, is keen on making a jump to the cloud. By the looks of its latest acquisition, the Arlington, Va.-based business wants to do that as fast as possible.

See also: Rosetta Stone arrives on iPad; language learning takes logical leap

That purchase consists of Livemocha, a online language learning community with a cloud-based education platform.

The Seattle-based private company already has more than 16 million members from 195 different countries, with a user base comprised of language experts, instructors and multi-linguists.

Thus, along with the already large community worldwide, Rosetta Stone is interested in using Livemocha's crowd-sourcing model for content development and social engagement.

The merger also bumps up Rosetta Stone's international reach, which the company itself admitted in the announcement on Tuesday:

To be sure, geographic expansion is an attractive feature of the acquisition. While Livemocha does add to Rosetta Stone’s already premier presence in the US, its high concentrations of users in China, Russia and South America—particularly Brazil—make it an even more compelling complement to Rosetta Stone’s international footprint. Livemocha’s worldwide community brings vibrant connectivity to Rosetta Stone’s existing hubs in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

For the record, Rosetta Stone paid $8.5 million in cash for Livemocha, which will continue operations from its Washington state headquarters.

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