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Duolingo Language-Learning Platform Files for IPO

The Duolingo language-learning platform filed for an IPO. Last year, Duolingo earned 51% of its revenue from Apple’s App Store.

The Duolingo language-learning platform on Monday filed a prospectus for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Pittsburgh company, which offers 95 courses in 38 languages, plans to trade on the Nasdaq with the ticker DUOL. 

The company, founded in August 2011, employs 400. It has about 40 million monthly active users. Its programs are free for users; a premium paid version, taken up by some 5% of its users, provides additional features.

For the first quarter Duolingo’s net loss widened to $13.5 million, or $1.04 a share, from $2.2 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue nearly doubled to $55.4 million from $28.1 million.

For all of 2020, the loss was $1.24 a share against a loss of $1.10 in 2019. Revenue more than doubled to $161.7 million from $70.8 million.

Most of Duolingo’s business comes through apps. Last year, Duolingo took in 51% of its revenue from Apple’s  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report App Store and 19% from the Google  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report Play Store. 

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Duolingo says it ranked as the top-selling app in the education areas of both stores.

Duolingo’s investors include Union Square Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, CapitalG (formerly Google Capital), Drive Capital and General Atlantic. Also backing the company: the actor Ashton Kutcher and the investor and author Tim Ferriss.

Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co. are managing the IPO.

In other IPO news Tuesday, Canadian Solar CSIQ shares rose, as Roth Capital praised the company's application for an initial public offering of its CSI Solar subsidiary on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The IPO would offer Canadian Solar a lower cost of capital, and it can use the funds to increase capacity and boost earnings growth, analyst Philip Shen said, according to Bloomberg.

Shen has a buy rating and a $55 price target for Canadian Solar. The shares recently traded at $46.01, up 1.1%.