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Duolingo Stock Soars in First Day of Trading

Duolingo shares climb as the language-learning platform makes its Nasdaq debut.
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Duolingo  (DUOL)  was saying all the right things to Wall Street Wednesday as the language-learning platform took off in first day as a public company.

Shares of the Pittsburgh company were up 35% to $138.06 on Wednesday at last check.

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Duolingo had announced the pricing of its initial public offering Tuesday at $102 a share.

On Monday, the company had raised the price target for its initial public offering to between $95 and $100 a share, up from a previous range of $85 to $95 a share.

Duolingo is offering 5.1 million shares of Class A common stock, raising about $520 million today, making the company’s total valuation above $3.4 billion.

The company said it offers courses in 40 languages to about 40 million monthly active users. Most of Duolingo’s business comes through apps.

Duolingo said in its prospectus that its app has over 500 million downloads and is the top-grossing app in the education category on both Alphabet's  (GOOGL)  Google Play and the Apple  (AAPL)  App Store

The company said in its filing that "for many Duolingo has become synonymous with language learning," and noted that people using Google search the term “Duolingo” nine times more often than “learn Spanish.” 

"We are particularly proud that our learners come from the entire socioeconomic spectrum, ranging from billionaires and celebrities to recently resettled refugees, a rare instance in which more money does not imply better access to a high quality educational platform," the company filing said.

Founded in August 2011 by Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker, who met at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Duolingo has about 400 employees.

The company filed its prospectus for an initial public offering in June.

Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co. are lead underwriters of a group of 10 banks backing the IPO.

In other IPO news, Robinhood Markets recently set the price of its impending public offering that could value the online trading platform at around $35 billion.

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