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Duolingo, the online language-learning platform, has raised $25 million in a series E round of funding led by Drive Capital.
The funding takes Duolingo’s total equity financing to around $108 million, and the company said that it’s now valued at $700 million.
Founded out of Pittsburgh in 2011, Duolingo is a multifaceted language-learning service that uses gamification to help people to learn to read, listen, and speak in more than 20 languages. Two years ago, the company passed 100 million users as it raised $45 million in a funding round led by Google Capital, and today the company has revealed that it has upped its user base to more than 200 million.
“When we started Duolingo five years ago we set out to make language learning free and accessible for everyone in the world,” noted Duolingo CEO and cofounder Luis von Ahn. “At the time, we thought it would be pretty cool if we could reach one million users. 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.”
There has been a slew of VC investment across the ed-tech realm in the past year. In the past few months alone, Coursera raised $64 million, Kahoot raised $20 million, Nearpod raised $21 million, and Voxy raised $12 million. Last year, Udemy raised $60 million.
With a fresh $25 million in the bag, Duolingo said that it plans to expedite its hiring and product development plans, and by the end of 2018 it aims to grow its headcount by almost double, from 80 to 150 employees.
“At Drive Capital, we map a market and then go find the very best company doing business in it,” said the VC firm’s founding general partner Chris Olsen. “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.”
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