Language learning site Babbel bags $10m in Series B funding

Babbel Funding
Babbel Funding

Babbel Funding

Berlin-based language learning startup Babbel has today secured a $10m Series B round to expand internationally and improve its mobile solutions. The round was led by Reed Elsevier Ventures with Nokia Growth Partners and existing investors VC Fonds Technologie Berlin and Kizoo also participating.

Not only is Babbel one of relatively few Berlin startups to reach a Series B funding stage, its buyout of San Francisco competitor PlaySay – aimed at strengthening its position in the US – is a move rarely seen on this side of the pond.

Launched in 2008 by parent company Lesson Nine GmbH, Babbel is present in over 190 countries and available in 13 languages. The company has reported revenue growth of over 200 per cent since 2011 and more than 15 millions users across the globe.

The latest announcement comes as no surprise considering that Babbel has remained quiet about funding since October 2009 when it raised €1m from European Funds for Regional Development and the state of Berlin.

What’s next for Babbel?

“We are happy to have two new high-profile international investors on board. This financing round opens a great number of opportunities without limiting our strategic options. For our great team of seventy people, there’s still much to be done and much to achieve,” said Markus Witte, CEO of Lesson Nine GmbH.

There is no shortage of players in the language learning space, such as Busuu and Duolingo, but Babbel has its eyes on one competitor in particular:

“With an affordable price point and focus on mobile, Babbel is poised to usurp giants like Rosetta Stone who have neglected the majority of the users in the US market,” said PlaySay CEO Ryan Meinzer, who has joined Babbel as a strategic advisor for its US operations.

In addition to international roll-out, the startup plans on growing its global footprint by forming partnerships with hardware manufacturers, platform providers and media.

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