TechCrunch Europe broke the news that language learning community Babbel had its first profitable Q1 in the history of the company.
And in Babbel’s case this means profit from sales of their product, not advertising revenue, affiliate sales or other schwag. People buy what Babbel build. A really radical concept.
Of course, this is just a first step and the fact that the announcement of a profitable first quarter is something that exciting feels a bit odd to be honest.
Markus Witte is not going into details about how many paying users Babbel has nor does he disclose the exact amount of revenue but the sales since November seem to be somewhere in the five-figures.
All in all the sales figures in the first quarter were above the plan and
[...] now the company is slightly cash-positive a lot sooner than we hoped.
Markus also said that
Our competitors didn’t disclose any figures yet but I doubt that any of them can say the same.
I tend to agree on that point.
Again: what is really important about that announcement is that all the money comes from Babbel’s own products. The company decided from the beginning to not display advertisements on the website, a revenue stream that is used by Livemocha, Busuu but also platforms like italki and eduFire.
People are willing to pay for well developed educational products. Rosetta Stone and Tell Me More prove it for years, Babbel seems to prove it for the web 2.0 age.