Rosetta Stone Acquires Livemocha to Decipher the Cloud

Language learning company Rosetta Stone Inc. Tuesday announced it has acquired Seattle-based Livemocha for $8.5 million in cash. The transaction closed Monday. While Rosetta Stone has made its mark selling language courses through CDs offered at iconic yellow kiosks in malls and airports around the world, Livemocha’s language courses are only offered online.

Much as SAP AG and Oracle Corp. in 2102 acquired Successfactors Inc. and RightNow Technologies Inc., respectively, to ease their entries into cloud computing, Rosetta Stone is making this acquisition as much for the technology underpinning its smaller online learning rival as for the customer base it hopes to monetize in the near future. The company is also making this acquisition as it sees the tide shifting away from traditional software usage to cloud-based and mobile applications, as much among individual consumers as among its business customer segment.

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