Duolingo, the fast-growing language-learning app, files for IPO

Duolingo Inc., a language-learning app company, filed Monday for an initial public offer. It boasts strong momentum and revenue growth.The Pittsburgh-based company claims it has over 500 million downloads. It also offers courses in 40 languages to around 40 million monthly active users.Duolingo didn't specify the amount it expected to raise during its IPO. After it confirmed it had raised $35 million from General Atlantic and Durable Capital in November, its last reported valuation was $2.4Billion.According to the filing, the company stated that its revenue increased more than twice from $70.8 million in 2019, to $161.7 millions in 2020. The company's quarter ended March 31 saw a more than two-fold increase in its revenue year-over-year to $55.4million from $28.1million. The company also stated that nearly three-quarters of its quarterly revenue was derived from subscriptions to Duolingo Plus for $7 per month, about 17% from advertising sales, and 11% from Duolingo English Test (which serves as proof of English proficiency for international admissions all over the world). Last year's net loss was $15.8 million, which is an increase of $13.6 million from 2019.Duolingo offers two types of stock. According to the prospectus, each Class A share is worth 1 vote while each Class B share worth 20 votes. NewView Capital, the largest shareholder, owns 20.1% Class B shares. Its co-founders own 14.8% each. Union Square Ventures owns 14.2%. CapitalG also owns 13.7% Class B shares. Kleiner Perkins 10.5%, and General Atlantic 7.1%.Luis von Ahn, Chief Executive, and Severin Hacker Chief Technology Officer, were both former students at Carnegie Mellon University and professors. They co-founded Duolingo. Von Ahn, who also co-founded reCAPTCHA which was sold to Google, wrote in a three-sentence founder note that Duolingo was just getting started.It stated in its filing that the company has ambitious plans beyond language learning and would like to expand its mobile-first, gameified approach to education. It launched Duolingo ABC last year, which teaches early literacy skills to young kids.According to the company, it applied for listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market using the ticker "DUOL". Allen & Co. and Goldman Sachs will lead the IPO, which is one of the 10 underwriters in the prospectus.