Babbel was founded in Berlin in 2007 with the ambition to make language learning accessible through technology. Subscribers can choose from 14 languages and gain practical language skills for real-life situations via the Babbel app and website. It takes most users just five hours of study to feel ready for conversations (source: Babbel international user survey 2016).
Language skills are an asset in an increasingly globalised world. For younger generations in particular, they expand possibilities and horizons. “Once you’re able to have a real-life conversation in another language, you get connections to people and places you wouldn’t get to know otherwise,” says Babbel founder and CEO Markus Witte.
Babbel wants to scale up quickly. Most of the best-known tech startups have followed a path from the US to Europe. The language-learning company is doing it the other way around – Babbel opened its first international office in New York in 2015.
Deutsche Bank is helping the company navigate the challenges of international growth and expansion. “There’s so much we need to know. We get great support from the startups team at Deutsche Bank. We clicked right away,” says CFO Ina Wetzel.
As Babbel’s house bank, Deutsche Bank provides advice on strategic topics and offers banking services in Germany and around the globe. Those services include cross-border transactions and currency management – essential for a business with customers all over the world.
It takes a whole team to help a startup growVanessa Tietz, Deutsche Bank
Vanessa Tietz is Babbel’s Relationship Manager at Deutsche Bank. She’s responsible for involving colleagues like Iris Seewald from Global Transaction Banking, who organised a local bank account in New York for the new US subsidiary.
Babbel’s growth plans include entering the corporate market with subscription packages for companies. As Vanessa explains, the benefits are clear for organisations with an international workforce – including Deutsche Bank. That’s why she’s a Babbel user too: “I have clients and colleagues from all over the world, so a tool like this can really help me with communication at work.”