busuu Sounds the Charge – Hires Corporate Sales for North America

Let the battle begin. With a freshly charged war chest through the recent investment of fon founder Martin Varsavsky in the startup, busuu aim to enter the home market of Livemocha and Rosetta Stone and to compete with them in the three most promising verticals: corporate, government and universities.

busuu is looking for a Corporate Sales Director for North America. You can read (or apply for) the job offer on LinkedIn and looking at the requirements for the position, busuu isn’t looking for a freshman.

  • Set-up of corporate sales office in the U.S., recruitment and management of future sales team in the North American market.
  • Overall responsibility to develop & execute strategies to promote and build our institutional business in the North American market.
  • Inspire corporations, universities, governments and other institutions across North America to invest in language learning through busuu.com.
  • Coordinate the entire sales process from initial contact, to pilot-projects, to account management, renewal sales, etc.
  • Drive change and innovation by understanding our clients, market trends & competitors.

This looks like serious business, e.g. busuu really wants to take on the North American market through a local sales team. busuu’s growth in numbers has been through the roof for a while now and according to Bernhard Niesner this has also been caused by a growing number of users in North America.

If we take a look at the Compete numbers below (for whatever they are worth), there seems to be at least some evidence that busuu is growing massively on this market.

If we just compare busuu and Livemocha it seems as if busuu has almost double the traffic.

Again, take these statistics with a grain of salt but as Compete measures the traffic in the United States, it therefore shows a trend at least.

As another side note to the above, Michael Schutzler, the CEO of Livemocha is travelling a lot in LatAm these days and we already know that Brazil is a very strong market for the company.

Livemocha themselves also recently partnered with OneAmerica to provide immigrants in the States with English lessons and there is the strategic partnership with goFLUENT for corporate English lessons.

And of course Rosetta Stone are far from surrender. The launch of the iPad version of TOTALe got them a lot of positive coverage in the press and for many people RS is still the gold standard.

All in all, customers will now have the possibility to chose from three different providers and it is fascinating to follow this fierce competition in the language learning community space.

What I would be interested in was to see if a consumer faced product like busuu or Livemocha are, will be able to get into the corporate, government and university space. Rosetta Stone should have some pretty strong ties here but then both Livemocha as well as busuu have prestigious publishing partners and a much smaller price tag.

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at KirstenWinkler.com.