Duolingo Seeks $35M Round

  • General
  • November 14, 2020
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  • 5 minutes read


Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn.
Photo credit: poptechlicensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Duolingo, the popular language learning site, has authorized a sale of up to $35 million in new shares that’ll place its valuation at $2.21 billion if all the shares are sold, as indicated by paperwork first unearthed by the Prime Unicorn Index. For a company the size of Duolingo, the round seems small but is on par with previous funding rounds from the company. 

Throughout its history, Duolingo has raised nearly $150 million in outside funding split into small rounds of as low as $10 million to as high as $45 million. The company has not been known for raising splashy single rounds like many others of its kind.

Before now, Duolingo’s last-known funding round was quiet $10 million raise that came in April this year. The most recent before that was a $30 million round in December 2019 that placed its valuation at $1.5 billion. 

Duolingo is one rare billion-dollar technology company that’s based out of the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Another that comes to mind is the self-driving company Argo AI that’s majority-owned by automakers Ford and Volkswagen.

Duolingo is a popular language-learning platform that offers courses for nearly 40 distinct languages. The company operates on a freemium model, wherein it says it’s used by over 300 million learners of whom over 1 million are paying subscribers. In the light of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s likely that Duolingo has seen an uptick in usage as people have widely flocked to e-learning platforms after widespread lockdowns that affected in-person learning.

Duolingo is backed by some of the biggest names in the venture capital scene, among them Alphabet’s CapitalG, Kleiner Perkins, General Atlantic, New Enterprise Associates, and Union Square Ventures. The company makes good by having noteworthy board members including Jim Shelton, a former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

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