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Learnship Acquires GlobalEnglish to Scale Corporate Language Learning Operations

By Henry Kronk
April 17, 2019

Learnship, a corporate language instruction provider, announced on April 17th it had acquired GlobalEnglish, another operator in the sector. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

Learnship launched in 2008. Their main service, Virtual Classrooms, replaced face-to-face business-focused language instruction with a remote virtual teacher. Many other massive language instructors have since caught on to the value proposition involved in this arrangement.

Learnship Has Been Operating in the Virtual Corporate Language Space for More than a Decade

The company took in, according to Crunchbase, a seed round of funding from Bertelsmann in 2010. In 2018, the company secured a Series A worth €10M from THI Investments, a family-operated fund which manages assets in excess of $1.5 billion. The deal gave THI a majority stake in Learnship. As Managing Director Dr. Christoph Becker said in a press release, “Investing in GlobalEnglish is an excellent next step in our digital learning growth strategy and an excellent complementary strategic fit with Learnship.”

The company today employs over 1,000 language instructors and has offices in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Paris, Basel, and Chicago, besides its headquarters in Cologne. They have also since included intercultural training in their catalogue.

GlobalEnglish is not significantly different from their new owner. Their proprietary platform might have been a main selling point. It allows them to teach corporate learners with a combination of face-to-face instruction and adaptive AI courseware. With these, it offers both “personalized and adaptive learning paths that provide tangible progress and create habits of success,” according to the news release.

GlobalEnglish Offers a Platform and Numerous International Offices

Besides their platform, they also have offices in San Mateo Calif. (their headquarters), Mexico City, Tokyo, Seoul, and Chennai, India.

“GlobalEnglish is a perfectly complementary business to Learnship,” said Learnship Founder and CEO Sushel Bijganath, in a release. “Its geographic strengths in Asia, Europe, North and South America, complement our traditional strengths in the European market, and its product expertise in online and mobile software complements our online trainer-led approach. I’m excited to see the future products and solutions that our combined teams of technical and pedagogical experts will pull together as we move forward.

“Our goal has always been to create the ultimate language learning experience for learners, trainers and program managers. We’ve done this by combining human-centered learning design with transformational technology and progressive pedagogy. GlobalEnglish was built on a similar philosophy, and with our combined resources we’ll be able to increase both our speed of innovation and our scale of deployment.” 

“By combining forces with Learnship we are excited to expand our range of learning experiences into 14 languages, small group classes, and virtual coaching, helping our customers develop and practice the skills that add value in their work,” said Karine Allouche Salanon, GlobalEnglish CEO. “No other company is better positioned to support global organizations in preparing their teams to operate globally and identify measurable impact on business outcomes.”

The company has not described any changes to operations that will be made with their new acquisition, if any. While many companies describe themselves as the leaders in their industry, Learnship might be able to make a better stab at that claim. It has certainly now has a huge staff and large network of international offices.

Featured Image: Rawpixel, Unsplash.

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