Voxy is helping people all around the world learn English. It’s an ambitious goal, so the company today raised $8.5 million in financing to market its tools in emerging markets.

Two-and-a-half million people currently use Voxy to improve their English language skills. Voxy’s web and mobile apps offer a combination of lessons and games, which are suitable for the English neophyte to the English master. Language-learners will also receive constant feedback on how they can improve. The company claims it has been rated the No. 1 education iTunes app in 23 countries.

Education and publishing giant Pearson led the Series B financing round, with participation from ed-tech fund Rethink Education.

The terms of the deal stipulate that Pearson will now own a minority stake in New York-based Voxy. Pearson intends to incorporate the language-learning technology into the existing suite of apps and other digital services.

For Voxy, the investment will help the company market its service and fend off competition from Rosetta Stone and scores of other language-learning apps and games.

CEO Paul Gollash said the startup would most certainly benefit from Pearson’s “global scale and distribution network.”

Rival companies Pearson and Kaplan are keen to build relationships with the hottest ed-tech startups in a bid to stay relevant.

Pearson’s approach is a combination of acquisitions, partnerships, and strategic investments. In the past several years, Pearson has snapped up Learning Catalytics, ExamDesign, EmbanetCompass, Schoolnet, and bought a stake in Nook, to name a few.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.