Making the Learning Journey Real: Babbel Moves Into Language Travel

  • Babbel to launch into language travel, partnering with intl. language schools

  • Global booking platform will fuse market with new audiences

  • Project already underway with acquisition of Berlin start-up LingoVentura

Babbel, the world’s top-grossing language learning app, today announces that it will launch into the language travel market in 2019. The company wants to connect language learners with a curated selection of international language schools by creating an international booking platform. First steps have already been taken with the acquisition of LingoVentura, a Berlin based start-up and language travel platform, that already handles bookings for 200 language schools in over 100 cities and countries. Taking over this platform and network allows Babbel to accelerate and directly start iterating the service into a go-to place for language learners.

“The language travel market today looks a lot like travel market in the early 2000s where you would book your trip via a travel office or directly with a hotel. It’s still very fragmented,” says Florian Oberleithner, Corporate Strategy Manager at Babbel and head of the travel project. “We are going to change that by launching a central platform to the millions of language learners we already reach via our app.”

The current market for international language travel is estimated in the low billions, with about 3 million bookings per year. In Germany alone the market revenue for 2017 was 220M Euros for about 150k travel bookings.
Babbel aims to accelerate this by reaching the untapped segments of the market. As millions of people already have a paid subscription to Babbel’s language-learning app, there is a strong potential for interest in language travel, which is beneficial for all partners.

“I think it is time to open the door for the whole language-learning industry to profit from what we have built,” says Babbel COO Martin Kütter, who initiated and managed the acquisition of LingoVentura. “Moving into this new market it is important for us to keep with our philosophy of strengthening the already-existing language learning market instead of trying to disrupt it.”

“More than any other brand Babbel has managed to take language-learning into the mainstream, reaching millions of people that would never have picked up a language otherwise. Furthermore, we made these people customers and showed them that they can do it,” said Markus Witte, CEO of Babbel at Techcrunch Disrupt Berlin. “Connecting our audience with the great partner schools we are going to feature on the new platform benefits the whole market. While consumers can find their best offering, vendors will meet many more customers.”

Babbel’s platform for language travel is set to launch in 2019.

IALC, The Student Perspective on Language Travel Abroad, 2018

About Babbel

Babbel – the app that helps you speak a new language like you’ve always wanted to. When learning a language, nothing is more rewarding than a real conversation. 73% of surveyed customers feel that they’d be able to hold a conversation within five hours of using the app.

The Babbel language learning app for web, iOS and Android makes it easy to learn 14 different languages from 8 display languages. Bite-sized lessons fit into everyday life and are split into useful real-world topics, from introducing oneself, to ordering food and making travel arrangements. The app’s effective game mechanics ensure that learners stay motivated to achieve their goals, with the average user continuing to learn with Babbel for more than 12 months. Uniquely, every course is created specifically for each language pair by a team of education experts, linguists and language teachers. Fast Company Magazine recognised Babbel as the most innovative education company of 2016.

Babbel was founded in 2007. Since then, the team has grown to 750 people from more than 50 nations, spread between Berlin and New York. With no ads, and a transparent, subscription-based business model, the company’s focus remains firmly on getting learners conversational fast. In 2016 the company surpassed 1,000,000 active paying subscribers.

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