How to raise angel funding following a recession

After two years of bootstrapping the business, Busuu’s CEO Bernhard Niesner raised angel money. Here’s what he learnt.

by Kitti Palmai

When tough times prevail, Busuu – the language-learning platform connecting people with native speakers – rose to the challenge, tripling its user numbers globally during the first year of the pandemic. This was not the first time the edtech company had gone against all odds, however.

Busuu’s CEO and co-founder Bernhard Niesner, who founded the business during the Great Recession, explains how the initially Madrid-based “bootstrapped” company managed to secure funding and move to London in 2012. 

“We wrote Busuu’s business plan while doing our MBA and then started the company right after graduation. We had support from our families and a bit of savings, so we bootstrapped the business for the first couple of years with no external funding.

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