The Duolingo app focuses primarily on online language learning. They've managed to make a simple app that makes you feel like you're playing a game. They did a great job of using gamification (a method that uses game elements).
Duolingo was founded in 2011 and went public on the NASDAQ in July/August this year, raising nearly USD 521M by selling around 5.1 million shares. This brought the company's value to USD 6.5B. It was still worth USD 1.65B at the beginning of 2020, after an investment of USD 35M. At the end of 2020, the value reached USD 2.4B. The total investment exceeded USD 183M.
The app is actively used by about 40 million users per month and up to 40 languages can be learned. Of these, around 2% are paying users and the rest use the free version with ads. Duolingo's largest market is the US, where 20% of its users live, accounting for 45% of all revenue. For 2020, revenues exceeded USD 160M. For the first quarter of 2021, Duolingo's revenue was USD 55M.
Why do we care?
For several reasons. First, they have the same business model. They offer users a free version with ads, but at the same time you can buy a premium license for a year for almost USD 80, thanks to which users do not have to watch ads and have a few extra features. Secondly, we are comparing ourselves with them as it is an EdTech company successful all over the world.
Duolingo's value is high, even though their model is not built on licensing revenue, they have 40 million active users and only 2% paying users, which we have even lower numbers in our business plan. Our target is 11 million users and 14,000 engaged teachers. Our value as a company may be much higher in the future than currently projected. This may have an impact on the appreciation of the silent partners' investments, which may also be much higher. We are one of the startups that is likely to see an appreciation of more than ten times after investment.