Business

Language-learning app Babbel targets 1 billion Frankfurt IPO

Berlin-based Lesson Nine (Babbel's parent company) said it is looking at various ways of financing its growth

Vivianne Ianagui, head of LatAm and Iberia at Babbel
Vivianne Ianagui, head of LatAm and Iberia at Babbel. Photo: Babbel/Courtesy.
  • Berlin-based Lesson Nine said it is looking at various ways of financing its growth;
  • Babbel offers online language classes, vocabulary and spelling games, stories and videos, all on a subscription basis.

Lesson Nine, the company behind language-learning app Babbel, is preparing to list on the Frankfurt stock in a deal expected to value it at more than 1 billion euros ($1.19 billion), people close to the matter told Reuters.

Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas have been asked to organize the initial public offering, which could take place in the third quarter, they added.

READ ALSO: After global surge in its user base, Babbel invests in localization strategy to grow in Latin America

Berlin-based Lesson Nine said it is looking at various ways of financing its growth. “But there is neither a decision for a particular (financing) option nor a timeline.”

The banks were not immediately available for comment.

Any deal would add to a growing list of technology IPOs in Germany, which has already seen Auto1 list on the stock exchange this year and is awaiting deals such as those of e-commerce groups About You and Mr. Spex as well as of open-source enterprise software company SUSE.

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Babbel offers online language classes, vocabulary and spelling games, stories and videos, all on a subscription basis. Founded in 2007, Babbel counts millions of active subscribers learning 14 different languages.

READ ALSO: Brazilian retailer Magazine Luiza buys e-learning platform ComSchool

In a 2020’s stay-at-home world, many people took some extra time to develop a new skill, whether by escapism or pursuing learning as self-improvement. “Remote learning has become a routine after distance learning skeptics have realized that studying online does work. Thus, the pandemic has significantly accelerated the inevitable growth of e-learning, and I believe that this impact will be lasting,” says Vivianne Ianagui, head of LatAm and Iberia at Babbel, in an interview with LABS, earlier this month.

READ ALSO: Teleworking and e-learning tools surged 324% and 60% in Latin America

Babbel currently employs 750 staff and is expecting sales of more than 200 million euros this year, benefiting from people flocking to online courses during COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 is a crucial test for e-learning; with teachers and broadband Internet, a revolution may rise

The company name Babbel derives from the word “Babbeln” meaning “talking” in the local dialect of Germany’s Hessia region.

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