The business of language learning with Babbel co-founder Markus Witte | Found Podcast

Hello and welcome to found Tech ranch's Podcast that brings you the stories Behind the startups from the folks that Are building them I'm your host Becca Scac and I'm joined by my spectacular Co-host Dominic madori Davis hey Dom I Have a question for you can you speak Any other languages I speak a little bit Of French I speak okay if you drop me in France I can get around okay what about You I have like a baby understanding of Polish I've been trying to learn it for Years I always say that like I couldn't Do a conversation but when I get my hair Done at the Polish hair salon I know They're not talking about me so I know Like enough oh okay yeah I think I did Like four years of Spanish and I can't Say anything I did 5 years of Mandarin Chinese and I only recognize the numbers That's it just not that helpful why do You Ask I asked because today we have Marcus Wit the co-founder and chairman of Babel Which you probably already know but if You don't is a language learning Platform that uses things like lessons Online classes games and podcasts to Teach its users how to speak a new Language we had a great time talking to Marcus about the long journey they took Of building Babel and how all of the Co-founders are in sharing the mission Of Babel stays consistent even though

They have all moved on to different Projects and of course we have our new Segment to truths and a lie where I'm Going to tell you two truths and a lie And then after the episode you have to Tell us what was the truth what was the Lie all right so here we go what was the Lie in this episode that no founder has Ever sold a share that Marcus is a big Believer in the co-ceo model or that the Babel team has been working on Incorporating machine learning from day One day one got to remember this company Started back in 2007 those are really Good ones so you guys should listen in To the conversation to find out which One is true and which one is not and Here is our conversation with Marcus Hey Marcus how's it going very good hi Becca hi do hey thanks so much for Coming on the show today I'm really Excited for this one because I think me Dom and some of our listeners are Already familiar with your company but For those that are not maybe if you want To start there tell us a little bit About Babel Babel is a language learning Company um it all revolves around an app But now it it is even an ecosystem where You can learn in very different ways in Live classes through the app through Podcast whatever you choose and uh what We try is to help people connect and

Understand each other through language And I know you guys have been around for Quite a while as far as startups go Maybe if you want to talk a little bit About the founding story and I know There are three other co-founders how You guys all got interested in this idea To begin with yeah we have been around Since 2007 actually so quite a while Launched the app in 2008 how we found Each other was through a company we all Worked in in the music software world so We all built music software products That was actually what we ventured into And wanted to do build a prototype for An online sequence or a SAS product if You want and before we even launched That product while we were still working On the produ hive one of my co-founders Wanted to learn Spanish and came to the Conclusion that you can't learn a Language on the internet which was a Complete surprise to us at the time so We thought I'll Ely that is a problem we Could solve in a way we were wrong Because we didn't have the knowledge or Expertise to do this but like it happens So often once you start into something Then you find the means to make it Happen ultimately yeah that's very Interesting now I'm thinking like what Was it like in 2007 I don't know how you Would learn a lang I guess you had to do It the old school way so when you're

Starting a company like this what is the First thing that you do to make language On the internet and like digitize Language what's the first step to doing That I think it has dramatically changed What you do today if you start a company And what we did back in 2007 what we did Was to imagine a product that is Actually usable and that worked well From a tech perspective and that was Mainly a vocabulary trainer it wasn't a Very good product in terms of learning a Language from a tech perspective and Usability perspective it was pretty good So how you do that is you sit down and Code and that's what we did there wasn't So much more magic to that that was what We were used to do and we just got Together and set the common Direction And then coded until we had something That we were still ashamed about but Happy to show to everybody now it's so Interesting to think about building Something to help people learn something You guys were struggling to learn on Your own or your co-founder was because So often you come across Founders who Are like oh I'm building in this area Because I have expertise here or I have This 20year career in this specific Industry so it's so interesting to hear Your story of trying to solve your own Problem but not having experience in That area and I know something that's

Interesting about getting launched that Early so much has changed in the tech Ecosystem since then I was the App Store Even launched in 2007 no there was no App Store that was the first iPhone that Was not really something you wanted to Have I was on a Google G1 phone the First two years of existence of Babel so No that was preapp store M so what is Have been like building since then cuz I Know not only has Tech changed and sort Of like how people interact with Technology people are more onto the apps Now of course back then it was probably More web based internet based and There's also been a lot of competition Come into this space as well since you Guys launched and like how has it been Of course obviously Babel is still known People are still using it today what has It been like navigating the changes Outside of your control since you guys Got started back in 2007 the changes Were pretty dramatic I think the biggest One was the launch of the App Store and The success of the app stores on the web People didn't really search for language Learning so nobody very weirdly nobody Had the idea they could learn a language On the internet so the search volume was Almost zero once the App Store got going People got used to doing everything on Their phones including language learning So there was for the first time a demand

For online language learning which Completely changed the whole equation of How you get a product to Learners to Users that was a huge difference and of Course the whole product needed to Change to work on such a small screen And admittedly we first thought ah no You can't run a language learning app on A phone it's impossible it will never Work but we had to learn it the hard way That it does work that was a very Dramatic change in all Direction Distribution the Tex stack was different And the whole product needed to change And I don't think competition wasn't a Big thing for us one very very big Change was introducing subscriptions in 2009 so rather early when it comes to Subscription that was not the solution For every business back then for us it Was in a way necessary to stay aligned With our users and we thought Advertising in a learning product is Just Unthinkable for us it just Ethically didn't work so it was mainly The only path open and that for us was a Huge change and back in 2009 when it was So funny talking to invest who didn't at All get the math around subscriptions we Really had to explain the whole Statistical models around it and now It's the most common thing in the world But back then that was really Challenging yeah that's interesting so

The whole business model changed and now Of course is the second change that is As fundamental as the change to phones And that is AI as a a driver for extreme Change in the whole industry yeah I was Actually going to ask you about that Like going back to investors what was it Like trying to get Capital to get this Business off the ground we were lucky in Two ways in one way that we had worked Before had put a bit of money on the Side and could Finance the company for The first 18 months out of our pockets And even beyond that work without a Salary so that was a privilege that we Had very helpful to not need investment From day one after that fundraising was Terrible because like Berlin was not a Good place for a start startup back then And if at all startups were about online Commerce so e-commerce was the big thing Everybody understood it but a language Learning product that was really out There and we had to really look for Investors for quite a long time our Series a was below a million dollar so Um that was the one time fundraising Wasn't fun for us yeah cuz I notice Looking at your fundraising history and Maybe of course this is also just a Difference in the startup market today Versus 10 years ago were companies now Raised seemingly like every year you Guys have only raised a handful of

Rounds sort of very spaced out which Isn't as common anymore and was that Were you guys Lean by Design or was that Kind of playing into this where Fundraising was also just really tough For where you guys were we were also Lean by Design we wanted to live of our Users rather than from investors money It was a deliberate choice we were cash Flow positive from 2011 onwards so Rather early in the journey and we got There with this very tiny series a and a Bit of debt so very minimal capital I Think we burned below 2 million to get To Casual Break Even but that is more The spirit than necessity because once We got traction all the follow-up rounds Were so easy to raise because we had Proven that this is something that works And we didn't have to explain for very Long that language learning is a large Market everybody understands that right Away I see that you got covered in Tech Crunch in 2008 and so I just wanted to I Just want to ask how did you get into Tech crunch I mean cuz I don't know I Just there's no right way to phrase that How how did that work back then it was There was like winning the lottery for Us it was the game changer 15th of January 2008 i' still remember it oh my God and it was the first day we were Online and what we did was to just Tech Crunch had a form an online form where

You could submit your press release so We drew up crud self-made press release That nobody reviewed who had ever done PR and we uploaded it to Tech Crunch and Somehow it caught somebody's attention And we found ourselves prominently Featured on Tech Crunch and then of Course accordingly on other media which Totally exploded our servers we were I Think day two at the triple of our total Objective of users that we had for the First year or so so it was just totally Out there the interest was so high in Language learning once you put it in Front of people so yes Tech crunch is The beginning of the part of Babble that Is a success story and you've mentioned A couple times now about how large the Language learning industry is and the Demand there and maybe if you do want to Talk about that a little bit because I Can like kind of think about what this Would look like but I don't really have A concept of how much demand or how Large the market would be for these Language learning products and how much Has it changed so there's different ways Of looking at the market you can look at The current market volume so how much Revenue is made in language learning Most of that is still online or in life Classes so rather traditional methods Online self- learning is a fraction of It it's maybe 10% of the whole Market as

Of now and we already have a good Portion of that another way of looking At it is how many people in the world Throughout their live learn a language And how often do they get back to it and That is huge it's incredibly big how Many language Learners there are in the World so if you have a good solution for That and if you can help them on their Way the market is massive Way Beyond What we currently see in compound Revenue figures but if you look at app Based online language learning it's a Comparably small Market single digit Billions definitely you mentioned AI so I'm trying to now think cuz I guess like In the beginning you were talking about How you coded all the languages how has AI changed that in terms of getting Languages on the platform I obviously am Not a coder and so I'm just like how how Has AI changed all of that so we were Used to the good old machine learning Because one of my co-founders Specialized in machine learning even in The 90s so so that was something we Worked with on different areas but what Has changed in the last 18 months is That we can now use generative AI to Help teachers build lessons to Understand user demands and needs way Better and to dynamically deliver parts Of conversations our speech recognition Is now at a complete new level using

Today's AI tools and this is just the Beginning so it's a bit like the early Days of the iPhone where you have this Shiny thing that is in a way very Interesting but you haven't figured out That you can use it to to book a taxi And revolutionize the taxi industry for Instance and I think that is in AI we're At a point where everybody kind of Understands change is coming and this is Very powerful but we're just scratch We're all just scratching the surface of It and the interesting part is how we Use that for new products that we Haven't thought about yet so I think We're doing a lot of the stuff that is Pretty clear and almost obvious we're Going beyond that with a couple of Product features and ideas in some areas But again the journey just starts and I Don't think anybody already has figured Out how to use use or what the limits Are of deploying AI in apps and language Learning and I was just going to ask one Last question focused on the actual Product cuz I know you mentioned when You guys got started it was sort of like A vocab training exercise which I know From attempting to learn a language Online you can find a lot of those Resources how did you guys decide to add These different products that you have Expanded into like you mentioned lesson Plans that teachers can use and things

Like that why did it make sense to kind Of add these things and are you guys Going off of what consumers are asking Asking you for or existing users how do You guys decide to expand to these Different areas so that goes back to how And why we started so we started Basically as users of our own product And more with a question than with an Answer I think that made us more Flexible than a couple of other teams Because we didn't think we know the Solution we are still searching what is The best solution to learn language I Think that will be an ongoing search the First step was we build a product that We saw a lot of of interest for and then We saw that you can't really learn a Language with it and that was a bummer Because we didn't want to keep people Busy but to actually help them learn a Language like looking back Solutions are Sometimes obvious so the obvious thing That we did was to hire people who Actually know how people learn a Language for tech people it's not always The first step to ask people who know Their field but very often we reinvent Stuff or feel can't we do this using Machine learning and that was a game Changer bringing educ ators on board was A complete Game Changer helped us to Completely revamp the product and in 2009 we launched a product that was

Everything but just a vocab trainer and Then over time we of course kept Interviewing our users how they can use Their language skills in real life Because what you track in your app in Terms of success metrics is a close Feedback loop if you optimize your app For stuff that you can measure in the App you end up building a game people Get better at using your app not Necessarily in speaking a language in The real world so we had always did Panels with real world users and and Tried to understand what do they need to Get conversation to get to their Learning objectives and the answer was Consistently yeah I used multiple Methods I used the app but I also went To language classes I watched movies in The learning language I I did games and Whatever right we first thought oh we Have to overcome that and build an app That can do all that but then gave into The fact that a multimode way of Learning is always more successful than Just using one one mode and if you're Learning a language the one thing that You can always use together with every Other mode of learning is a mobile app Because it's affordable and it doesn't Take up a lot of time and it's kind of The centerpiece of a digital language Learning Journey no that's so funny to Hear you say that because I just got

This morning my dad has been learning in French for a couple of years on um Dualingo and he sent his like dualingo Wrapped or whatever but he keeps he's Learning French and he keeps going to Friends and then getting too afraid to Talk to people while he's there so it's Like he's like not trapped in the app He's looked at taking classes and stuff Like that but it's so interesting to Hear you say that because it's Definitely true he's been learning for a While and still gets scared to talk to People it's like just try it and that is A huge huge advantage of apps that even For the those of us and I'm definitely In that camp who are more on the shy Side we can try in a safe environment Where nobody's laughing about what we Try to do but eventually we all have to Get out of the closet and I think the Challenge for us as a language learning Provider is to make these steps not too Big to give like a step by step Opportunity to try a bit more first Thing speak to just the speak Recognition but get speaking and then be In a maybe in a onetoone with a real Teacher and then maybe in a class and so On and so forth so not throwing people Into the deep right away is the best for Most people and now we're going to take A quick break but we'll be right back in A

[Music] Second I wanted to switch gears just a Little bit because you spoke about Starting the business and the journey of Running the business when did you know It was time to step down as CEO and let Someone else take over I took the Decision in the late part of 2018 but I Didn't feel it was time it was a Different thing it was very very Personal decision as a CEO I became more And more effective the more the company Grew it's kind of the reverse of many Founders experience but I was kind of The weakest of the founders in the first Part because my coding was kind of not As good as the others I wasn't a Designer my marketing skills were more Mediocre but it turned out that I work Out as a CEO and the point was really a Personal thing that this job felt like Such a good fit and I felt it's so Relevant what I do that I wanted to know Who am I without this job what is the Core of my personality if I subtract This kind of exoskeleton of relevance That I have through this large Organization and that was already 500 People that Curiosity was was a big Driver and the other driver was pretty Clear that from a certain step on I Needed to design do I want to be the Chairperson or the CEO and I felt the Company should have a Founder chairman

And just keep air cover and I had a Fantastic successor in the company it's A complicated decision I think but it Was not an obvious one at the time and Staying on the succession piece for a Moment I wrot a story a couple months Ago about founder succession and how This current market some Founders were Planning to maybe take on a chair role After the company went public public and Now plans are kind of out of whack with Timelines and things like that and how This is just like a part of the Venture Ecosystem that people just don't talk About as much despite the fact that if You join a public company you have a Succession plan from day one you Mentioned finding having a really good Successor when you did decide to step Down maybe if you want to talk about a Little bit about what that process was Like and how you guys navigated finding That next person to take Babel to the Next step to be totally honest I was More lucky than than it was designed so I had brought on somebody in 2015 he back then was his first job was CMO and I rather quickly understood wow This guy can do a lot more and he has Such a deep interest in the mission of The company a deep interest in what the Product does he's not just a CMO but did I hire him for that no so I can't pride Myself with having thought about this at

Least once he was there I saw like okay If I'm hit by a bus he's the one who who Should take over the wheel and that was For the first time absolutely abstract Because I thought I'm going to do this Forever it's the best job in the world It was kind of the best job in the world And that was exactly why I gave it up Which is a pretty weird thing I think For a lot of people but that's what it Is so I was lucky nowadays I work with Founders on their path and and Mentor Them a bit in the growth stage so it's An important advice or one piece of Advice that I give Founders and I think It's important to identify people that Can take over and might not be a part of Your hiring because usually in a startup Environment you try to keep things from Falling apart you don't usually solve Problems that are kind of three or five Years out but once you you have somebody That could be a successor you should Definitely keep an eye on them and fer Them and something else I wanted to ask You about is this you were a co-ceo and I know there's been lots of of thought Leadership I guess would be the best way To put that about how either the co- CEO Model really works or the co-o model Really doesn't work it seems like people Are like very much on one or the other Side of the camp and no one's like oh it Sometimes works sometimes it doesn't

Which you could say that about all Leadership structures essentially but Why did it work for Babel and kind of Why did you guys decide to do the co-ceo Model to begin with well it wasn't a COO Model really it was the faceover so it Was for I think 6 months or or so in 2019 an and I decided that before he Takes over as SEO he wants to be in the Loop with everything so to Stage it a Bit we had we created that role and it Was kind of a weird setting because we Didn't have two Coos but one coo and one Co-o like a pilot and a co-pilot it was That kind of set up that the successor Got the opportunity to look into Everything and be part of everything Like a co-pilot is and then take over so It was just a phase over idea if it Comes to uh shared leadership on the top Level I'm not in the camp of co- CEOs Being a good solution I'm rather Skeptical I mean there are cases as you Said there are cases where it works but I would be rather conservative there Yeah there are not many cases where it Works no works for some people but Doesn't seem that broad of a solution But speaking of like multiple people Being involved I know you guys also have Four co-founders which is quite the Group and sounds like you guys are all Still involved in some way with the Company well we are all nobody ever sold

A share so we are all still meaningful Shareholders in the company which is Great I think none of us is operative in The company anymore Thomas was the last To leave this year we still very very Much aligned so as shareholders found is Always have one position at Babel which Is I think remarkable we blindly trust Each other which is also remarkable Working together was not always easy Which is I think fact for every founder Team so over time people decided to step Down Twan was the first he's the [Laughter] Techiestudios person and and the first 18 months or so it was fun for him and Then it got like bread and butter from a Tech perspective Lawrence is the early Stage inventor founder the 0er to one Person and he founded his start company Which is also successful in the Meanwhile I think for every founder There's a moment where for whatever Reason they decide to do something else And that was the case for us I think What I'm so extremely thankful for is That we never got into into fighting With each other but resolved all the the Friction that occurred in a very kind And and thoughtful way and always had Real deep trust in each other speaking Of shares um can you talk a little bit More about the decision to I guess Postpone that IPO in

2021 yeah you remember that markets were At a certain point quickly deteriorating There was a Chinese company called Evergr that immediately cost havoc in The market so the climate had changed And we saw that the path forward was not Very sunny on the public markets if if You look at it now we're so happy that We're private and we were late enough in Our process to see this coming you could Take both views like if we have been Earlier we would have done a successful IPO would we be in a very good position Right now as a public company would be Be in a better position than as a Private company I don't think so so I'm Pretty pretty happy we took that Decision am I happy that the markets Deteriorated no so you're probably going To stay private for a while I would Guess so there's not really a public Market for Education companies or for Everything that sounds like education so No I don't think so I don't think that Will go in public anytime soon and for Me personally that's not the biggest Question so I'm always more interested In the path the company takes than what Happens with the ownership structure Somebody needs to own it but over time I Got so deeply attached to the company Its employees and its mission that that Is the main thing that I care about and Honestly that wasn't the case in the

Very beginning we started as just a Startup but over time it really got very Very dear to us and since you mentioned That caring more about where the company Heads as opposed to necessarily who's Owning it what are you hoping for Babel For the next five years you guys are Close to that 20e Mark four years away So like how do you guys feel about the Next 5 years of the company I would Measure the success of the company in Number one how much learning success can We deliver to our users and that depends On how good we are in evolving the Product or products using Ai and other Novelties and really extend what we call The ecosystem of learning experiences That is the key we try to measure Learning success and that's the North Star for us and that's where I would see This going and I strongly believe that The way forward is to find the best Learning experience for each user Because as language Learners we're Unsure how to learn it's very hard for Us to say oh yeah I need this way of Learning a language class would be the Right thing for me we don't have that Expertise but as battle we have the Expertise and we can see patterns and I Think it's that level that we can be Most helpful the other parameter that I Would look at is the team I'm so proud Of the team that we and the culture that

We have built how inclusive it is how Diverse it is I still meet all the new Joiners and I'm so I'm so humbled by the Reasons why people join Babel it's the First thing I do with every new Joiner I Ask them why of all companies did you Choose this one and for me part of the Success of the company is to keep and And evolve this inclusive diverse Culture that we have no that's awesome Did your co-founder ever learn Spanish um well to a certain degree the The fun fact is that I only was able to Use our own product in a meaningful way After I stepped down from my co role Because if you're using your own product And if you're a manager in this company Everything that you come across is Meaningful you come across an error you End up writing an email to somebody and It's so hard to really focus on the Learning experience versus focus on oh How does this happen we need to change This and so on so you always on the meta Level and for for Lawrence he speaks a Bit of Spanish now but uh I wouldn't say He blew it out of the park and while we Are our own users it's honestly really Hard to do this now I can do it now I I'm really using Babel quite a lot but It's a different perspective if it's not Your day job anymore well I think we're Pretty much at time but thank you so Much for coming on Marcus this has been

A lot of fun thank You and that was our conversation with Marcus Dom what did you think I loved it I loved hearing about him but before we Dive in I got to give the LIE d da did You guys identify give the listeners What they one did you identify what the Lie was y'all okay so clearly the LIE is That Marcus does not believe in the Co-ceo model at all no which I think is Fair because yeah sure it works for some Companies I say that but I can't think Of one off the top of my head yeah I Know where that model has worked yeah no Notes I agree but yeah what else did you Find interesting for the conversation I Just loved hearing about how one of the Reasons it started was cuz one of his Co-founders wanted to learn Spanish and Then in the end he still doesn't really Speak it no that's so funny it's like You could make so many jokes about that It's so funny to be like oh I want to Learn this thing so I'm just going to Build a company to teach myself how to Do it like it's just like man there are A lot of easier ways to do that probably But he's like I wanted to learn Spanish So I built this multi-million dollar Company to help me and I still didn't Learn it no I love that and it's so Funny to think about that obviously Babel's like most people know it and It's a big company as you said a lot of

People use it and probably have learned Languages on it so it's so interesting That's such a big part of the origin Story yeah it's also interesting to see How this is basically like the OG Language learning app and they've been Around for so long in the beginning I Guess you couldn't how were people back In the day just learning languages like I could not imagine just when did those Languages for dummy books come out like How were people doing this I feel like It must have just been like Rosetta Stone right like those CDs I think I Forgot about her oh yeah I haven't I Remember we'd never own them because They were really expensive and you had To buy so many to like actually learn a Language it's like you can't just buy Like one CD and just learn pleasantries And then like nothing else so it's like Kind of a big commitment but I just Thought what was so interesting about That part of it too is the fact that They launched it as a subscription or Added a subscription model like very Early which is so interesting the way he Talked about it being like Oh yeah and At the time people were like why would You do a subscription model and like why Does that make sense whereas like now It's like that's like every VC's Favorite business model I know his Company is really like a snapshot and

What everything was like in 2007 and 2008 because obviously now the things That are just so obvious for a lot of Startups to have you know these Subscription models even like edtech the Edtech space is you know it's doing it's Pretty good so hearing like back in 2007 Berlin is a capital like it's like a big VC Hub now oh I know that surprised me Too I was like I've voice thought of Berlin as being like one of the hubs in Europe like London Berlin those are like The top two yeah so hear that like that Even like in 2007 it was like a little Challenging to fundraise I'm like things Are so different now yeah it's funny too Because like the same theme he talked About how they've been using machine Learning the entire time I'm sure a lot Of companies from that time have as well But because we like didn't talk about Machine learning in AI the way we do now It's like we wouldn't know that but it's Just like yeah of course we were using That from day one which like makes sense To think about about now but it's funny To think about how much it's changed how We talk about that I know it's another One of those companies where I'm like oh Yeah AI was not invented two years ago By I don't know Elon Musk and all of Them it was clearly it's been around for A while because I'm thinking like of Course a machine learning model would

Need to be used for this app because Otherwise like how would it work like I Don't know right no exactly it's like a Good reminder that there's more of this Tech than we like talk about yeah but You know I also really like lik he was We were kind of talking about this Before where he was like just very European in terms of how humble he was Talking about his company no I know and Like the thought of stepping down Because the job is like too good is like I don't know I just couldn't imagine Doing that but like I like get where He's coming from the sense of like okay Well I've done this for a long time I'm Like too comfortable I get that but like Would you step down from a position like That where you like I have the best Drama in the world like time to go I Don't know cuz he was asking Philosophical questions he was like who Am I without this this job you know I Want to experience life again and I was Like okay that's kind of a slay I was Like yeah you know I support that Totally but I'm also thinking like you Have to be probably so mature um and so Not obsessed with like greed and Hyper Growth to come to a conclusion like that Because a lot of times ego is like a big Part in starting and running a business And so for him to say you know what Someone else can run this I'm going to

Live my life a little bit I was like Okay I get behind that for sure and it's Especially super interesting too to when You remember like the context of them Specifically they haven't sold any Shares so like Marcus hasn't sold any Shares so it's not like oh I'm leaving My job because this company's already Made me very wealthy and I can kind of Just like hang out now and like pass the Torch or whatever he left and it's like He still owns the same stake and it's Doing other things they didn't get that Exit yet yeah cuz you know I bet you They could have ipoed in 2021 and I bet You they would have hit like a nice Billion dollar valuation but it probably Would have crashed very soon after but I Bet you like he easily could have walked Away with like a lot it was really smart For them to say no maybe not right now And it his again with like what you're Saying just like so European so just Like not the like money hungry power Hungry American startup found which like There's nothing wrong with that either But him just being like Oh yeah the IPO Didn't happen but like I don't care who Owns the company as long as it's like Still moving in the right direction it's Just like so against the narrative we Hear here and I also love the old school TC shout out like 20 what was it 2008 The article was in so we we have the

Article and it just says contributor Like who wrote this if you wrote this Article please email us who wrote this Story please let us know and I love how It's like it's just like this app exists And it totally changed everything I love Hearing when TC articles do that for a Company oh I know cuz it's like easy to Feel like you're in your own world when You write this stuff sometimes so it is Always fun when like a good company that Deserves like good recognition is able To get it and also I mean I feel like I Also have to note that when you Mentioned dualingo he didn't even Flinch I know he's like probably scared of that Owl like we all are I he doesn't want to Say anything I just have like images in My head of that owl beating me like I'm So scared of that owl I know that's why He probably like knows better than to Say it he doesn't want that Al visiting Him later I get it he's like I'm not Even going to IGN knowledge this Something I meant to ask him was what Was the first language on Babel I assume It was Spanish but I don't do we know oh That's such an interesting question yeah Yeah I wonder if it was Spanish imagine It just like wasn't like K just really Built this whole company to learn Spanish and just did not no it'san they Built this multi-million dollar company To teach them Spanish and the first

Language is like Dutch or something like They don't even get to Spanish for a While that would be really funny yeah oh So okay so we just got confirmation it Was Spanish all right so he was trying He was trying yes we love to see it we Love to see It found is hosted by myself TechCrunch Senior reporter Becca scac alongside Senior reporter Dominic madori Davis Found is produced by Maggie stamitz with Editing by Kell our illustrator is Bryce Durban founds audience development and Social media is managed by Morgan L Alysa Stringer and Natalie chman Tech Crunch's audio products are managed by Henry pikovit thanks for listening and We'll be back next [Music] Week

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    • staked-etherLido Staked Ether (STETH) $ 3,160.92 0.89%
    • xrpXRP (XRP) $ 0.538050 16.6%
    • the-open-networkToncoin (TON) $ 7.34 0.43%
    • dogecoinDogecoin (DOGE) $ 0.110886 3.35%