EdTech startup and language learning app Duolingo looking to raise more money from its highly-anticipated IPO
Last month, language learning app and the world’s most popular language-learning platform Duolingo announced its plan to go public. Duolingo started out in 2009 as a free app to help people of all backgrounds learn new languages. In an IPO prospectus filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) back in June, the company said plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “DUOL.”
In a sign of investors’ appetite for Duolingo shares, the language learning app announced Monday that it had raised the IPO price target from the previous range at $85 to $95 per share to $95 and $100 each. The company plans to sell about 5.1 million shares that would value the company at over $4.6 billion at the high end of the range. About 1.4 million of the shares would be sold by stockholders, proceeds from which would not go to the company.
According to documents filed with SEC Monday, Duolingo saw 97% revenue growth year over year but net losses widened more than six-fold to $13.5 million in the three months ending March 31st.
We last wrote about Duolingo in 2019 when the language learning app had 300 million registered users worldwide. Two years later, Duolingo is the most popular language-learning platform with over 500 million registered users and 42 million are active once a month. Duolingo is also the most downloaded education app worldwide.
Duolingo started out as a project led by Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Luis von Ahn and one of his Ph.D. students, Severin Hacker. At the time, von Ahn was looking for a new project after his success selling two businesses (reCAPTCHA) to Google in his 20s. He later saw an opportunity to turn the language learning model on its head and Duolingo was born.
Today, Duolingo offers 95 total courses across over 30 distinct languages — from the world’s most spoken, such as Spanish, French and Italian, to endangered languages like Hawaiian, Navajo, and Scottish Gaelic. Its app is available on iOS, Android, and Web. Duolingo’s mission is to make language education free and accessible to all. Its platform is free, designed to feel like a game, and scientifically proven to be effective.
In addition to its core platform, the startup also created the Duolingo English Test, an affordable and convenient language certification option accepted by more than 2,000 universities and institutions worldwide.