HomeAcquisitionsBerlin-based Babbel acquires US-based Toucan to further expand its learning ecosystem with...

Berlin-based Babbel acquires US-based Toucan to further expand its learning ecosystem with browser extension

Babbel, one of the world’s top-selling language learning platform, announced the acquisition of the Toucan browser extension. Toucan helps language learners to build and retain new vocabulary while browsing the web. The agreement to acquire the technology was signed at the beginning of September. While remaining free as a standalone feature, the browser extension will ultimately become part of Babbel’s market-leading ecosystem, which includes an app for language self-study featuring various lessons, games, and cultural extensions, Babbel Live virtual classrooms with certified teachers as well as Babbel Podcasts with more than 30 different series. Connecting various learning experiences around one central curriculum is what makes Babbel’s ecosystem most effective.

“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.”

“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,” added 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.”

Founded in 2019 in Santa Monica, California, Toucan has developed a browser extension that allows language learners to practice new vocabulary while browsing the internet, automatically translating certain words and phrases on the page into one of eleven languages. It immerses learners as they go about their day, without them having to set time aside, tracking their progress and allowing them to save words for later review. Based on learning science, it is a powerful tool that will come to full fruition in the context of Babbel’s language learning universe, helping learners to reinforce the vocabulary they have learned in Babbel’s self-study courses or live classes.

As Babbel moves forward with the integration, Toucan will continue to operate under its original name. Just like Babbel’s podcasts, it will function as a high-quality, free feature that offers a glimpse into Babbel’s superior linguistic design, which aims to get learners conversational in their new language as quickly as possible.

Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo is the Head of News at EU-Startups. He has been extensively covering startups, venture capital and innovation ecosystems, including contributions to numerous publications such as Sifted, Entrepreneur and Forbes. Through his work as an editor and writer, he continues to shape the narrative surrounding the best stories of the tech world.

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