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italki Acquires Lingbe and Relaunches the Instant and Free Language Practice Mobile App

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italki has acquired Lingbe, a free language practice mobile app that allows users to call native speakers instantly. Lingbe is also announcing the official relaunch of the app.

The live chat app helps users practice speaking a foreign language by instantly connecting them to native speakers around the world. “It is like an Uber for language speaking practice,” said Alberto Cruz Alonso, CEO of Lingbe. Users spend a virtual currency “Lingos” when they practice a language and earn Lingos when they help someone learn their native language. Users can also purchase Lingos through the app store.

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The app has received a warm reception from users, with an average 4.5 star rating on Google Play and over 10,000 reviews. Lingbe also won the Madrid Mobile Summit startup contest in 2017 and was chosen by Google as part of their Early Access Collection, where only 29 startups were selected worldwide.

Lingbe’s team is based in Madrid, Spain, and the company was acquired by italki, a leading language education marketplace that connects teachers and students around the world for paid language lessons.

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“Lingbe and italki are driven by similar core ideas around language learning. Lingbe helps connect people through a free global community, while italki is more focused on 1-1 online learning with professional teachers,” said Alberto Cruz Alonso.

“We’re excited to have Lingbe be a part of the italki family. Most people who are learning a foreign language don’t have many opportunities to connect with native speakers. italki and Lingbe both provide practical language learning and cultural exchange. With services like Lingbe and italki, we hope that we can bring the world closer together and revolutionize language education,” said Kevin Chen, CEO of italki.

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