Duolingo, the language learning app, based out of Pittsburgh, USA, recently raised $30 Million (₹210 Cr.) at a valuation of $1.5 Billion (₹10,700 Cr.). What went right?
Need gap: To keep things in perspective, an average Indian pays around ₹3,000-15,000 to learn a foreign language from a local tutor. Whereas, it can be learnt at absolutely no cost on the Duolingo app in a fun and interactive way.
Revenue model: Duolingo has an advertisement-based revenue model for free subscriptions. The premium subscription, which eliminates ads and provides some additional features, comes at a subscription fee. The app currently earns $100 million (₹710 Cr.) from its annual subscription.
What’s next?: Duolingo is constantly adding new languages to keep tapping new users and also to live up to the loyalty of old users. It has plans to expand its employee strength and explore the application of AI and machine learning to serve users in a better way.
Is good business all it takes?
No! The company won Inc. magazine’s Best Workplaces award in 2018. It also made an appearance in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top Company Culture List in 2018.
In a nutshell, a lucrative revenue model coupled with a visionary growth plan catering to an acute need gap makes a start-up extremely attractive. But, making a healthy working environment for its human capital works like the cherry on top of the cake. Fast forward, in 2019, Duolingo was named one of Forbes's "Next Billion-Dollar Startups"