When it comes to learning a language, it can be time-consuming, challenging, and sometimes a little bit frustrating. Duolingo set out to change the course of language learning and the experiences had while engaging in such an activity by releasing an app for smartphones that made learning languages fun and exciting, as well as easy. All that’s needed is a little time devoted to using the app each day, or at the very least on a consistent basis. Over the years since its release Duolingo has become so popular that it gathered the attention of new partners for its most recent funding round, including Google Capital.
Google Capital is joined by previous investors from the last round of funding like Ashton Kutcher, Tim Ferris, Union Square Ventures, NEA, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Beyers, amounting to a total of $45 million in funding for this round alone, and an overall funding total of $83 million, raising Duolingo’s complete valuation to somewhere around $470 million. Duolingo has a vast user base, and according to Google Capital partner Laela Sturdy, they were “blown away at the growth and engagement numbers” of the service. That growth amounts to a total of 100 million users on a global scale, and they even have a program for schools which lets education institutions use Duolingo to teach students a new language with the ability for teachers to easily manage progress. Since the program for schools has launched, over 100,000 teachers have registered to participate using Duolingo’s completely free as well as ad-free program.
So what does Duolingo plan on doing with this new funding? According to Duolingo, they’ll be using it partially to widen the reach and presence of their language learning platform in schools all over the world, and with it being such an easy platform to use for learning a new language bringing access to more students seems like a smart move. They will also be devoting plenty of the funding to improving their mobile app to make it more effective and personalized, which may very well mean new language courses at some point in the future.