SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Verbling, an online platform where language learners take lessons with professional teachers, today launched Verbling Enterprise. The new service enables companies to set up language lessons for their employees. Verbling Enterprise has already signed customers such as Volkswagen Group and Zara's parent company Inditex.
Verbling was founded in 2011 by three former Stanford students from Sweden. The company launched in Y Combinator and has since raised $4.4 million in venture capital. As of today, 1 million people have used Verbling to study 38 different languages. Lessons take place with individual teachers over video chat, and Verbling vets prospective teachers to ensure they meet rigorous standards. The company aims to make the sharing economy a pillar of global education.
"We started by building the most effective language learning product for serious, dedicated learners," said Jake Jolis, cofounder & CEO of Verbling. "Regular Verbling users who are managers at large multinationals then wanted a solution they could use as an organization. Because the quality of Verbling's teachers and software is already widely known, we earned the trust of some of the world's largest brands. We realized that we could provide even better service if we built a true business solution. We are proud to launch that today."
Verbling Enterprise aims to address one of the biggest problems in international business: language barriers. Although email, chat, and video conferencing have made it easy to communicate over long distances, international colleagues don't necessarily understand each other. For the U.S. alone, this communication gap is significant. Foreign-owned companies employed 5.6 million people in the U.S., and U.S.-owned businesses employed 11.6 million workers abroad according to a 2013 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce. While some companies strictly hire multilingual employees, that practice can disqualify talented individuals who are willing and eager to learn.
Normally, companies hire "language consultants" who visit the office during set hours to teach group lessons. HR managers get stuck coordinating schedules among dozens of employees. The difficulty of scheduling leads to conflicts, which, in turn, result in poor attendance because employees have to prioritize their core responsibilities over lessons. The burden of tracking language proficiencies and assigning employees to the appropriate-level classes also falls on HR.
When companies sign up for Verbling Enterprise, employees can book their own language lessons with professional, native-speaking teachers. Employers don't have to worry about scheduling lessons, contracting instructors, or tracking language proficiencies. Their teams can learn new languages from the office or at home, and lesson times are available 24/7. HR or learning and development (L&D) teams can track usage at the company and individual level. Verbling provides metrics on adoption, progress, and performance so that HR can measure the return on investment.
Verbling will enter the enterprise market with some well-known customers. Volkswagen Group, the world's largest automaker and #7 company on the Fortune Global 500, has signed up for Verbling Enterprise. The company employs more than 610,000 people across its brands, which include VW, Audi, Porsche, and other iconic names. Inditex, one of the world's largest fashion retail groups, has also joined Verbling Enterprise. The company operates over 7,000 stores worldwide and is best known for its flagship brand, Zara.
To learn more about Verbling Enterprise, visit www.verbling.com/enterprise.
Verbling is an online platform where language learners take lessons with professional teachers. The company's mission is to empower people all over the world to become fluent in a foreign language. While the core team is based in San Francisco, the teachers and students who make Verbling possible are spread across six continents. Verbling's investors include Bullpen Capital, Y Combinator, Ace & Company, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Ernström Kapitalpartner, SV Angel, and Sam Altman of Hydrazine Capital.
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