UPDATED 00:32 EDT / JULY 09 2015

NEWS

Language learning service Babbel raises $22m Series C

Language learning service Babbel (Lesson Nine GmbH) has raised $22 million Series C in a round led by Scottish Equity Partners that included existing investors Reed Elsevier Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, and VC Fonds Technology Berlin.

Founded in 2007, Babbel claims to make learning languages fun (if that’s humanly possible,) along with the process being as “easy and accessible to everyone.”

The company offers language learning apps for iOS, Android, the desktop, and even the 5 people who purchased the now seriously tanking Apple Watch.

Babbel claims that every course is created specifically for each language pair by a team of education experts, linguists and language teachers, and aims to help “self-directed learners” to discover a new language, while motivating them to keep learning.

Sticky is the word that comes to mind, as the company claims that their average customer continues with the app for more than 12 months, and their mobile apps are now seeing up to 120,000 downloads per day.

Babbel offers 14 learning languages (Spanish, French, English, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Turkish, Polish, Indonesian, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Russian,) that are available for seven display languages.

“Babbel sets the standard for online language learning, and its strong international footprint is a reflection of that” Scottish Equity Partners Partner Stuart Paterson said in a statement. “We see significant growth potential in this market and are delighted to support the company as it executes its expansion in the Americas.”

Opportunities

The company is looking to tap into those who want to learn a second language on two fronts: as a serious pursuit, and those who want to travel “abroad” so to speak.

Although it does offer some free services, Babbel is primarily focused on a premium, ad-free pay for service, and its figures don’t lie: they appear to be doing a good job at it.

Given translation services are free and common it’s not a particularly easy space to work in, but Babbel offers more than say a service like Google Translate does, and actually gets down to providing tools to properly teach people a language they want to be able to speak, and read, fluently.

Including the new round Babble has raised $32 million to-date. Investors who didn’t participate in the new round include IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH, KIZOO, and the Investment Bank of Berlin VC fund.

The company said it would use the new round to “add momentum to the company’s impressive growth, while ensuring the continuation of its cutting-edge product development.”

Image credit: Babbel

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