The US Department of State and mobile startup biNu just announced that they’re working together in a public-private partnership.
It’s not, perhaps, the most obvious partnership, but biNu says that its app platform for feature phones and lower-end smartphones is already used by an audience of 4 million people, largely in emerging economies. That’s an audience that the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs wants to reach, so it will be using biNu to distribute its English-language learning materials, such as e-books, audio, and games.
The organizations already teamed up in October to distribute the State Department’s game Trace Word Soup, and since then they say that 1.4 million games have been played in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Mexico, and elsewhere.
“Today we have moved closer to meeting the global demand for English language learning,” said Ann Stock, the State Department’s assistant secretary for educational and cultural affairs, in a press release.
biNu recently raised a $4.3 million Series A from Eric Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures, 500 Startups, and others.