Duolingo plans over US $ 3 billion valuation on US IPO as e-learning booms

Duolingo said on Monday (July 19) that it aimed to be valued at US $ 3.41 billion in its initial public offering in the United States, as the language learning app maker looks to capitalize on growing interest in online education tools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 5.1 million shares will be offered in the IPO, priced between US $ 85 and US $ 95 each, which would bring in more than US $ 485 million at the top of that range.

On a fully diluted basis, which includes securities such as stock options and restricted stock units, Duolingo would be valued at US $ 4.38 billion at maximum price.

Almost 1.4 million shares will be offered by selling shareholders, the proceeds of which will not go to the company.

Duolingo has around 40 million monthly active users learning 40 languages, including Irish and Hawaiian, for which the company says there are more learners online than native speakers.

The Pittsburgh-based company said earlier it had more than doubled its revenue in the first quarter of this year, with 72% generated from subscriptions and nearly 17% from advertising.

With over 500 million downloads, its app is the top-grossing in the education category on both Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

The company was founded in 2011 by Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker, who met at Carnegie Mellon University when von Ahn was professor of computer science and Hacker, his doctoral student.

Duolingo was valued at US $ 2.4 billion after an investment from Durable Capital Partners and General Atlantic in November.

Goldman Sachs & Co and Allen & Company are the main underwriters of the IPO. The company plans to start trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol “DUOL”.

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