Rosetta Stone buys Lexia Learning to move beyond foreign language learning

Just months after snapping up Seattle-based startup Livemocha, language learning giant Rosetta Stone has made another acquisition. But the purchase of Boston-based Lexia Learning Systems for $22.5 million doesn’t mean the company will expand it language learning options. Instead, it’s branching out into new territory: children’s literacy.

Over the past 20 years or so, Arlingon, Va.-based Rosetta Stone has built up its name by offering foreign language CD-ROMs in its signature yellow boxes. More recently, it began moving products online and to mobile. Its acquisition of LiveMocha was intended to help it move more quickly into the cloud and compete more aggressively, as new upstarts like Duolingo and Babbel have emerged.
With Lexia Learning, which sells English reading software to schools, Rosetta Stone plans to make a bigger push in the K-12 market. The company said its language learning products are used by 20,000 schools, while Lexia’s technology is used by 13,000 schools.
Rosetta Stone also said that it plans to test the consumer side of the children’s literacy market later this year. As the company continues its evolution as a general ed tech company, it will be interesting to see if it becomes an even more active ed tech acquirer.