German-founded language learning app Babbel has announced its expansion into the language travel market with the acquisition of a Berlin-based startup LingoVentura. The latter already operates a language travel platform that handles bookings for 200 language schools in over 100 cities and countries.
“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,” said Florian Oberleithner, corporate strategy manager at Babbel and head of the travel project. “It’s still very fragmented. We are going to change that by launching a central platform to the millions of language learners we already reach via our app.”
Babbel estimates the global market for language travel “in the low billions,” with some 3 million bookings every year. In 2017, Germany alone saw 150,000 bookings worth some €220 million. The startup plans to use the reach of its language learning app with “millions” of paying users to tap into the market.