FIXED Babbel language learning app targets 1 billion Frankfurt IPOs -sources


(Deletes reference to specific banks in paragraph 2)

By Arno Schuetze

FRANKFURT, March 11 (Reuters) – Lesson Nine, the company behind the Babbel language learning app, is set to be listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange in a deal that is expected to price it at more than a billion euros ($ 1.19 billion), people close to the matter said.

The company has tasked investment banks with organizing the IPO, which could take place in the third quarter, they added.

Berlin-based Lesson Nine said she was considering various ways to finance her growth. “But there is neither a decision for a particular (funding) option nor a timetable.”

Any deal would add to a growing list of tech IPOs in Germany, which has already seen Auto1 go public this year and await deals such as those from e-commerce groups About You and Mr. Spex as well as open-source enterprise software company SUSE.

Babbel offers online language lessons, vocabulary and spelling games, stories and videos, all on subscription. Founded in 2007, Babbel has millions of active subscribers learning 14 different languages.

It employs 750 people and expects more than € 200 million in revenue this year, benefiting people flocking to online courses during lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Babbel company name derives from the word “Babbeln” which means “to speak” in the local dialect of the Hesse region of Germany. ($ 1 = 0.8383 euro) (Report by Arno Schuetze; edited by Jonathan Oatis)

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