Pearson has acquired online language learning platform Mondly in a bid to enhance it position in English language learning.
The “strategically important” acquisition comes after Pearson’s English Language Learning sales increased 18% in the first quarter of 2022, thanks to growth in Pearson Test of English volumes.
“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.
“Today’s acquisition marks another step in our digital strategy”
“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.”
As well as being strategically important, the acquisition will be “accretive” and drive shareholder returns, he added.
“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 Alex Iliescu, CEO and co-founder of Mondly.
Pearson’s growth in English testing volumes is down to borders re-opening and improving global mobility, the company noted.
Its trading update for Q1 2022 indicated sales in assessment & qualifications also grew by 22%, while sales in virtual learning increased by 3% “underpinned by strong retention rates in Virtual Schools and growth in OPM”. However, its OPM contract with ASU will end as of June 2023, as announced on April 19.
Higher education sales were down 5% “due to expected declines in US Higher Education reflecting the continued decline in enrolments and courses per enrolment combined for the 2021/22 academic year”, the update noted.
Ongoing growth in BTEC, GED and TalentLens drove a 9% growth in workforce skills sales, it also stated.
Adding the online self-study specialist to its portfolio will allow Pearson to offer a full range of ways for people to learn and prove their English skills, the company hopes.
The “fully integrated market proposition” will also provide Pearson with synergies and cross-selling opportunities, such as offering the opportunity to bundle English with upskilling and reskilling products through Pearson’s workforce skills division, as Bird highlighted.
Launched in 2014, Mondly offers English and 40 other languages via its app, website, virtual reality and augmented reality products.