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Language learning startup Babbel will try to translate $10M into global growth

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Language learning startup Babbel has raised $10 million in its second round of funding with a goal to grow globally and help more people speak new languages.

Founded in 2008, Babbel wants to make learning a new language as fun as a game. It claims to offer more than 6,500 learning hours to help people become fluent in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and eight other languages. On top of its site for learning, Babbel also offers apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8. The company says it has more than 15 million users in 190 countries, but its largest number of users is in Germany, where Babbel is based.

Just last week, Babbel also acquired San Francisco-based startup PlaySay to further help it grow. It invited all of PlaySay’s members to join the Babbel community and hopes to make further inroads with U.S. users.

The new funding round was led by Reed Elsevier Ventures, with participation by Nokia Growth Partners, Kizoo Technology Capital, and IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft (via VC Fonds Technologie Berlin). Prior to today’s round, Babbel had raised $2.2 million in debt and equity.

“Babbel is a European digital media success story,” Reed Elsevier Ventures general partner Tony Askew said in a statement. “Babbel’s excellent mobile and online products consistently rate as consumer favorites, and Babbel is very well positioned for explosive growth in the rapidly growing category of mobile and online language learning.”

Businessman translating via Helder Almeida/Shutterstock