Duolingo Joins The Billion Dollar Unicorn Club

Photo Credit: Pola Esperanto-Junularo / Flickr.com

Several analysts expected language teaching site Duolingo to list this year. But the global economic and pandemic conditions have usurped quite a few well-laid out plans this year. It doesn’t look like Duolingo will list soon.

Duolingo’s Financials

Duolingo operates a freemium model that provides most of its users, including school users, access to the platform for free. It earns revenues through advertisements and a subscription-based premium access model, Duolingo Plus. Duolingo Plus provides users with the ability to learn at their pace, in an ad-free environment, and even download lessons for offline learning. The subscription model costs $12.99 a month.

Additionally, Duolingo is also building on an enterprise revenue stream by offering English languages assessment products such as Stories, Tiny Cards, Dictionary, and Podcasts that are focused on language training. Overall, Duolingo reports over 7 billion exercises completed each month and a platform that is accessed by more than 300 million users.

Duolingo is privately held and does not publish its financials, but its last reported revenues were at $40 million for the year. Reports estimate that Duolingo ended 2019 with revenues of $86 million and expects revenue to climb to $160 million this year.

Duolingo has raised $148.3 million from investors including General Atlantic, CapitalG, Drive Capital, Tim Ferriss, New Enterprise Associates, Kleiner Perkins, A-Grade Investments, and Union Square Ventures. Its last round of funding was held in April when it raised $10 million in a round led by General Atlantic at an undisclosed valuation. Another round held in December last year had pegged its valuation at $1.5 billion.

Duolingo’s Product Expansion

Duolingo continues to expand its language and product offerings. Its English language certification test that is priced at $20 apiece was criticized for only having content up to level A2 CEFR, the basic level test. In response to the criticism, Duolingo is now aiming to have content for levels B1 and B2 added as well.

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Sramana Mitra is the founder of One Million by One Million (1M/1M), a global virtual incubator that aims to help one million entrepreneurs ...

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