Babbel wins funding, enters crowded language market

Language learning online is picking up again. We already have sites like Mango Languages and LiveMocha which offer new interfaces on languages, and often social networking features. LingQ, offers vocabulary and grammar drills. Then in Europe you have FriendsAbroad, VoxSwap and the LearnItLists widget startup. Not to mention italki from China.

So now Babbel, the Berlin-based language learning startup which we wrote about in January and which appeared at our London TechCrunch Pitch! event, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from German investors Kizoo and VC Fonds Berlin.

Babbel has a different take again. It uses an entirely Adobe Air Flash Flex 3 framework and the schtick is that it has a design inspired by a game console, with puzzle-like learning incorporating user-generated images and human voices. So far it covers French, Italian, Spanish, English or German. But it’s about to release grammar feature and tools for educators to create their own tutorials.

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