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.
1 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.
1 IALC, The Student Perspective on Language Travel Abroad, 2018
Babbel develops and operates an ecosystem of interconnected online language learning experiences and is driven by the purpose of creating mutual understanding through language. This means building products that help people connect and communicate across cultures. The Babbel App, Babbel Live, Babbel Podcasts and Babbel for Business products focus on using a new language in the real world, in real situations, with real people. And it works: Studies by linguists from institutions such as Michigan State University, Yale University and the City University of New York demonstrated the efficacy of Babbel’s language learning methods.
The key is a blend of humanity and technology. Babbel offers more than 60,000 lessons across 15 languages, hand-crafted by more than 180 didactics experts, with user behaviors continuously analyzed to shape and tweak the learner experience. This results in constantly adapting, interactive content with live classes, games, podcasts and videos that make understanding a new language easy, from Spanish to Indonesian.
Because Babbel is for everyone, its team is as diverse as its content. From its headquarters in Berlin and its U.S. office in New York, 750 people from more than 65 nationalities represent the backgrounds, characteristics and perspectives that make all humans unique. Babbel sold over 10 million subscriptions by creating a true connection with users.
More information: www.babbel.com