In July 2017 Duolingo has closed a $25 million Series E funding round, led by Drive Capital, raising its valuation to $700 million. This brings the company’s total funding to $108.3 million. The capital will be used to accelerate Duolingo’s hiring and product development plans.
“At Drive Capital, we map a market and then go find the very best company doing business in it,” said Chris Olsen, founding General Partner at Drive Capital. “Duolingo is that company, having set itself apart as the hands-down market leader in language education. Duolingo is fast becoming a mainstream consumer brand. We see in Duolingo what we continue to see throughout the Midwest: the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Duolingo recently passed 200 million users globally and is the most downloaded education app in the world. Over the past year, the company created significant new learning features like AI-powered chatbots for conversation practice and social features like language Clubs. In May 2017, Duolingo launched Japanese for English speakers, its most requested course ever, which quickly became the 3rd most popular course out of 70 courses on the platform.
“When we started Duolingo five years ago we set out to make language learning free and accessible for everyone in the world. At the time, we thought it would be pretty cool if we could reach one million users,” reflected Luis von Ahn, CEO and co-founder of Duolingo. “Our growth since then has significantly surpassed those initial expectations, and this funding will help us bring free education to millions more as we build a sustainable and profitable business.”
Duolingo has also expanded outside of its core learning app with new products like Tinycards, a reinvention of flashcards designed to make studying fun, and the Duolingo English Test (DET), an English certification exam designed to reduce barriers to higher education. The DET is now used by more than 90 universities and institutions around the world including Yale, NYU, Northeastern, and Notre Dame.
By the end of 2018 Duolingo plans to increase its headcount from 80 to 150 employees and is currently hiring for a variety of engineering, product management, and design roles.
Duolingo is the most popular language-learning platform and the most downloaded education app in the world, with more than 200 million users. The company’s mission is to make education free, fun and accessible to all.
Duolingo is designed to feel like a game and scientifically proven to be effective. In addition to its core platform, the company created the Duolingo English Test (DET), an affordable and convenient language certification option that is accepted by over 90 universities. In 2016, Duolingo expanded beyond language learning with Tinycards, a reinvention of flashcards designed to make studying fun.
The company has raised more than $108 million in venture capital from investors. Those investors include Tim Ferriss.