According to Reuters Abril Educacao which is part of Brazil’s second biggest media conglomerate Grupo Abril purchased 5.9% stake in Seattle-based Livemocha. The language learning community has a strong user base in the country with about 2.2 million users coming from Brazil.
The purchase is seen as a part of a general move of the publisher towards being a provider of educational solutions to schools, government and companies.
Through this partnership Abril Educacao wants to cater to the rising demand of the growing middle class (over 25 million over the past decade) for distance education in the Brazilian market. Another factor is the push of the Brazilian government to prepare the country to host the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
The Brazilian job market requires more higher skilled workers with not only technical skills but also language proficiency. Some state governments also offer subsidized English learning programs lately.
Livemocha’s task is to set up an online platform for Brazilians who want to learn English in preparation for these two major events as well as meeting the demand for better formal language education.
This is the second partnership of Livemocha with a big Brazilian company targeting the rising the middle class of the country. In January the language learning community joined forces with Telefonica Brazil to offer the Active English courses with a significant discount to clients of the South American telco. You can watch a KWestions with Michael Schutzler, CEO of Livemocha I did back in February to learn more about the strategy.