Babbel offers the shortest path to real-life conversations. In fact, 73% of its users indicated that they would be able to have a short, simple conversation in their new language within five hours of using Babbel.

Babbel is centred around a world-class, empirically-proven method that enhances language-learning with advanced technology. Babbel’s language experts are dedicated to bringing users the best quality in modern language-learning, covering 8,500 hours of content in 14 languages, from Spanish to Indonesian. Babbel is the only product to offer courses tailored to users’ native languages, building on grammar and vocabulary they will already know. The platform’s audio examples and dialogues are recorded with real native speakers, instead of automated computers, empowering users to speak correctly and confidently from day one. Time-tested strategies such as communicative didactics optimise how new vocabulary and grammar is received, saved and recalled. Babbel trains users’ brains to learn constantly and efficiently, so that more information is absorbed while using the app, and learning continues outside of it.

Data from research company Ambient Insight suggests that the mobile language-learning market will be worth $14.5 billion by 2019, while earlier this year, Fast Company Magazine ranked Babbel as the world’s #1 innovative company in education. Babbel was recognised as a pioneering educational tool because it fundamentally cares about how people learn, what people are interested in learning, and how best to teach individual learning types. Babbel’s content is based on real-life topics that are relevant, because its experts know what matters to its users is what sticks best.

Babbel at a glance

  • Over 1 million active paying subscribers
  • Top-grossing educational app globally
  • Made up of a team of more than 450 people from 39 nations working in Berlin and New York
  • Fourteen learning languages: English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Brazilian, Portuguese, Turkish, Polish, Indonesian, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Russian
  • Seven display languages
  • More than 8,500 hours of learning content created by experts in accordance with Babbel’s unique pedagogy for digital language-learning
  • Progress is saved in the cloud – learners can pick up where they left off on all of their devices
  • Courses can be downloaded for offline completion on mobile devices
  • Fully-featured apps available on the web as well as for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets
  • An additional app for location-aware learning with Apple Watch

Subscription model

Babbel is a premium product. With no ads, and a transparent, subscription-based business model, the platform works directly for its learners – not for any third party.

Babbel’s customers can select up to four different subscription options:

  • 1 month (at £8.95 per month)
  • 3 months (at £5.95 per month)
  • 6 months (at £4.95 per month)
  • 12 months (at £4.45 per month)

The Babbel Method

Every language learner needs a great teacher to pave the way in mastering a new language. This is why Babbel has a world-class didactic method at its core. The platform’s experts choose the strongest academic learning practices and cherry pick empirically-proven and time-tested strategies to teach languages. They then successfully translate a rich didactic encyclopedia into the digital world, and the result is a powerful, mobile curriculum available at the tip of the user’s fingers – wherever and whenever they want to learn.

People looking to master a new language face a number of key obstacles to learning successfully, and are typically limited in three main resources: time, money and motivation. Babbel addresses these issues with affordable subscription options, and with courses designed to be completed in bite-sized pieces. Not only is this a more convenient way to learn a language, research shows that regularly completing shorter sessions is more effective than studying for prolonged periods infrequently.

The app’s effective learning mechanics ensure that users stay motivated to achieve their goals, with the average person continuing to learn with Babbel for more than 12 months. Uniquely, every course is created specifically for each language pairing, by a team of over 100 education experts, linguists and language teachers.

Babbel builds on what learners already know from their own language to teach them a new one. That’s because an English speaker, for example, will have very different requirements for learning Spanish than a French speaker might. According to this philosophy, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are all taught in an engaging way, while voice recognition helps learners to perfect their pronunciation. Memory also plays a vital role in language learning, so Babbel’s data-driven review manager learns continuously from user input to help make the most important concepts stick. Plus, all of Babbel’s courses are in line with the common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).

Company History

Berlin-based Babbel was founded in 2007 by Markus Witte (Chief Executive Officer), and Thomas Holl (President). It was while working together in music software that they discovered there were no fully developed ways to learn a language online.

The founders decided to address this, registering Lesson Nine GmbH as a company in August 2007. The first version of Babbel followed in January 2008, with the product’s early development guided by the principles that the team knew to be true for music software: attention to detail and a strong user focus were considered critical to success. This strategy proved its worth when, one year later, Babbel had already acquired 100,000 users.

The company’s core markets include Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, which are all supported by a fast and dedicated customer service team, available via telephone, email and online chat.

Investment history

Babbel was initially funded solely by the founders themselves, but has since completed three rounds of financing (Series A, B and C). To date, the company has received a total of $34 million, and has been profitable with positive cash flow since 2011. Babbel’s investors include; IBB Investment Company (via VC Fonds Technology Berlin), Kizoo Technology Ventures, Reed Elsevier Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, and Scottish Equity Partners (SEP).

About Babbel

Babbel is the world’s top-grossing language learning app, recognised as the most innovative company in education by Fast Company Magazine. With millions of paying customers the company is driven by one challenge: everyone learning languages.

Its web and mobile apps make it easy to understand a new language, from Spanish to Indonesian. Bite-sized lessons fit into everyday life and are split into useful real-life topics, helping users to speak their new language with confidence. Every course is created by a team of savvy linguists, and it works. 73% of Babbel learners feel that they could have a basic conversation in their new language after five hours of using the app.

The company was founded in 2007 by Markus Witte (CEO) and Thomas Holl (CTO). Since then, the team has grown to over 700 people from more than 50 nations, with headquarters in Berlin and New York. Its no ads, transparent, subscription-based business model allows the company to focus on getting learners conversational fast.
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