Babbel acquires Toucan, a browser extension for language learners

Image Credit: Babbel

Popular language learning platform Babbel announced today that it has acquired US-based language learning browser extension Toucan to further expand its learning ecosystem. Babbel said the acquisition agreement was signed at the beginning of September. 

The Santa Monica, California-based Toucan was founded in 2019 as a browser extension that enables language learners to practice new vocabulary while using the internet by translating certain words and phrases into one of eleven languages. It’s available for learning Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Arabic, Hebrew, Portuguese and Hindi. 

“We are extremely proud of what we have achieved over the last years, and how we have contributed to the way the world learns languages online,” said Taylor Harlow, Co-founder and CEO of Toucan. “Toucan’s core values have always been wonder, empathy and impact. That’s why we believe that a company like Babbel, which shares all of these and puts learners first, is the perfect choice to carry on our vision and make it even more impactful and bigger.”

While continuing to be free as a standalone feature, Toucan’s browser extension will eventually join Babbel’s ecosystem, which also includes an app for language self-study featuring various lessons, games, and cultural extensions, Babbel Live virtual classrooms with certified teachers, and Babbel Podcasts with more than 30 different series. 

Babbel was founded in Berlin, has its headquarters there, and has an office in New York. It offers more than 60,000 lessons in 15 languages that have been personally created by almost 200 didactics professionals. It has sold over 15 million subscriptions, the company says. 

“Toucan’s founders have built an excellent learning experience that has helped millions of people embark on their language learning journey”, said Julie Hansen, Babbel’s US CEO and CRO. “By making it a part of Babbel’s rich platform and presenting it in conjunction with Babbel’s various other learning experiences, the product will be strengthened and benefit both Babbel’s and Toucan’s learners. Blending various learning methods has proven to be crucial for language-learning success.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Written by Jordan Bevan


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