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Extra Crunch roundup: How Duolingo became an edtech leader

The pandemic has just pushed edtech mainstream, but language-learning startup Duolingo had already spent the past decade figuring out how to build a successful edtech app. In our latest installment of the EC-1 series, Natasha Mascarenhas goes deep with the company to understand how it found product-market fit, then figured out how to grow like a consumer tech startup and monetize like a SaaS startup. After a record 2020, the Pittsburgh-based company also opened up about its plans for the future,...
Tags: Startups, TC, Apps, Utah, Education, Ipo, Boston, Tech, CMO, Bloomberg, Paypal, United States, Nba, Square, Holland, SEC


Tiger Global is betting that more schools are going to share future student earnings

Income-share agreements, or ISAs, are a way to bring flexibility to the often steep financial costs of higher education. The financial model allows a student to learn at zero upfront cost, and then pay any costs through a percentage of future income over time. While the model has caught fire from a variety of trade schools and bootcamps, it’s a hard service to offer at scale. It required underwriting a risky group of people — and that costs money. Just last week, a leader in the ISA space Lambda...
Tags: Startups, TC, Y Combinator, Education, Lgbt, San Francisco, Tech, Isa, Tiger Global, Edtech, Higher Ed, Blair, Sam Hodges, Lambda School, Recent Funding, Ankur Nagpal


Valence unveils training program to help build pipeline of Black execs

Diversity has been linked with equity and inclusion because diversity is just one part of the equation when it comes to hiring Black employees. How do the companies they work for make people feel welcome and included, rather than isolated? How do Black employees find their way into management, up the corporate ladder to the C Suite and into the boardroom? Today Valence, a startup dedicated to empowering Black professionals, announced a new program called BONDS, which is designed to help companie...
Tags: TC, Education, Tech, Diversity, Williams, Black, Education and Training, Barbara Lee, McKinsey Co, Tracy Williams, Valence, Primus, Valence Community, Black Professional Development Programs, Valence CEO Guy Primus, Upfront Ventures Bevy


Kahoot acquires Clever, the US-based edtech portal, for up to $500M

Kahoot, the popular Oslo-based edtech company that has built a big business out of gamifiying education and creating a platform for users to build their own learning games, is making an acquisition to double down on K-12 education and its opportunities to grow in the U.S. It is acquiring Clever, a startup that has built a single sign-on portal for educators, students and their families to build and engage in digital learning classrooms, currently used by about 65% of all U.S. K-12 schools. Kahoo...
Tags: Europe, Education, US, Tech, K-12, M&a, Sam Altman, Clever, Edtech, Oslo, Paul Graham, Tyler, Kahoot, Eilert Hanoa, GSV Founders Fund Lightspeed


Why creating inclusive classrooms matters

Editor’s note: In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Google.org is working with DonorsChoose to continue their support for more inclusive classrooms through the #ISeeMe campaign. Mr. Andy Yung, a classroom teacher from New York City, shares the power of affirming identities in his classroom. I grew up in Flushing, New York — the same community in Queens where I now teach. I’m honored and grateful to teach students who remind me of my younger self and to interact with their parents who remind me...
Tags: Google, Education, New York City, US, Queens, Google.org, Flushing New York, DonorsChoose, Yung, Diversity and Inclusion, Google org Learn, Andy Yung


Microsoft’s Reading Progress makes assessing reading levels easier for kids and teachers

Among the many, many tasks required of grade school teachers is that of gauging each student’s reading level, usually by a time-consuming and high-pressure one-on-one examination. Microsoft’s new Reading Progress application takes some of the load off the teacher’s shoulders, allowing kids to do their reading at home and using natural language understanding to help highlight obstacles and progress. The last year threw most educational plans into disarray, and reading levels did not advance the w...
Tags: Education, Microsoft, Tech, Reading, Artificial Intelligence, Teaching, Teachers, Schools, Teams, Machine Learning, Literacy, Natural Language Processing, Amira, Brielle, Educators, Microsoft Teams


Indian online teaching platform Teachmint raises $16.5 million

An Indian startup that began its life after the global pandemic broke last year said on Tuesday it has concluded its third financing round as it enables hundreds of thousands of teachers in the world’s second largest internet market run classes online and serve their students. Bangalore-based Teachmint said today it has raised $16.5 million in its Series A financing round. The round was led by Learn Capital, the San Francisco Bay Area-headquartered venture capital firm that focuses on edtech fir...
Tags: Google, Apps, Asia, Education, India, Funding, Tech, Bangalore, San Francisco Bay Area, Gupta, Better Capital, Learn Capital, Lightspeed India Partners, Vinit Sukhija Partner, Teachmint, Brainly Better Capital


The product-led growth behind edtech’s most downloaded app

Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn was tired of the gray and dreary design aesthetic edtech companies used to emulate universities. Instead, he and the company’s early team sought inspiration from games like Angry Birds and Clash Royale, looking to build a class that screamed more cartoon anarchy than lecture hall. From that frenetic creativity came the company’s distinctive mascot: a childish and rebellious evergreen-colored owl named Duo. Duolingo didn’t just throw out the old colors tho...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Tech, EC, Edtech, Duolingo, Angry Birds, Pittsburgh, Luis Von Ahn, Tyler Murphy, Super Mario Brothers, Ahn, EC-1, EC Edtech, Duo Duolingo


How Duolingo became fluent in monetization

As its meandering route to monetization will demonstrate, Duolingo isn’t mission-oriented, it’s mission-obsessed. Co-founders Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker never wanted to charge consumers for access to Duolingo content, a purpose imbued throughout the company’s culture. For years in order to work at Duolingo, you had to be comfortable with joining a company in Pittsburgh that was in no rush to make money. The startup, filled with education enthusiasts and mission-driven employees, became “ver...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Education, Tech, Brazil, Silicon Valley, EC, Edtech, Duolingo, Sand Hill Road, Pittsburgh, Gordon, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers KPCB, Luis, Luis Von Ahn


Duolingo can’t teach you how to speak a language, but now it wants to try

Duolingo has been wildly successful. It has pulled in 500 million total registered learners, 40 million active users, 1.5 million premium subscribers and $190 million in booked revenues in 2020. It has a popular and meme-ified mascot in the form of the owl Duo, a creative and engaging product, and ambitious plans for expansion.There’s just one key question in the midst of all those milestones: Does anyone actually learn a language using Duolingo? “Language is first and foremost a social, relatio...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Obama, Tech, Edtech, Carnegie Mellon University, Duolingo, Babbel, Pittsburgh, Language Learning, Luis Von Ahn, Ahn, Busuu, EC-1, Bernhard Niesner


How a bot-fighting test turned into edtech’s most iconic brand, Duolingo

Luis von Ahn, an entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to scaling free education, has probably annoyed you more than once. In fact, you’ve likely been annoyed by his work dozens and maybe hundreds of times over the years. A decade before he co-founded the whimsical and language-learning app Duolingo, one of the most popular education apps in the world with over 500 million downloads and 40 million active users, he was building the technology that would become CAPTCHA, those human-annoying bu...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Education, Yahoo, Tech, Duke, Edtech, Carnegie Mellon University, Duolingo, Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, Guatemala City, Luis Von Ahn, Manuel Blum, Ahn


The Duolingo EC-1

Education may well be the most important activity we conduct as a society — and it may also be the hardest space to build a startup in. Selling to school districts and universities is notoriously difficult, but enticing consumers is even harder. Learning takes focus, patience, tenacity and resources, and most consumers would prefer to watch some lip-sync videos on TikTok than stare at math equations (not to mention that such entertainment is free). Engagement and education feel aggressively at o...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Tech, EC, Edtech, Duolingo, Pittsburgh, Mascarenhas, Luis Von Ahn, Danny Crichton, EC-1, Richard Dal Porto, EC Edtech, Natasha Mascarenhas Mascarenhas, Nigel Sussman Duolingo


Escucha las historias de los educadores en esta Semana de Apreciación del Profesor

Nota: En honor a la Semana de Apreciación al Profesor,  la Profesora Nacional del Año 2020 Tabatha Rosproy nos comparte su historia, así como algunas de las formas en que las que estamos apoyando a los maestros este año.  Cada año, la Semana de Apreciación al Profesor llega en un momento emotivo para muchos maestros, alrededor del final del ciclo escolar. Decir adiós a nuestros estudiantes siempre es difícil, y después de un año de educar durante una pandemia, esas emociones se vuelven más inten...
Tags: Google, Education, Google.org, Moore, Gracias, Harry Shum Jr, Diversity and Inclusion, Wong Fu Productions, Tabatha Rosproy, DonorsChoose Desde 2005 Google, Google for Education On Air


Hear educators' stories this Teacher Appreciation Week

Editor’s note: In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week,  2020 National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproy is sharing her story, as well as some of the ways Google is supporting teachers this year.  Every year, Teacher Appreciation Week falls near the end of the school year, which is an emotional time for many teachers. Saying goodbye to our students is always tough, and after a year of educating during a pandemic, those emotions are more prominent than ever.As National Teacher of the Year, I’ve h...
Tags: Google, Education, Doodles, Google.org, Wong, DonorsChoose, Harry Shum Jr, Diversity and Inclusion, Tabatha Rosproy, Heritage Month APAHM Google, Katrina Moore, Conscious Kid 's YouTube, DonorsChoose Since 2005 Google, Starting Wednesday Google, DonorsChoose ISeeMe, Google org Learn


New resources on the gender gap in computer science

When it comes to computer science, we still have a lot of work to do to address gaps in education. That’s evident in our latest report with Gallup, Current Perspectives and Continuing Challenges in Computer Science Education in US K-12 Schools. This report is our most recent in a multiple-year series of Diversity in K12 CS education reports with Gallup in an effort to share new research with advocates, administrators, nonprofit partners and the tech industry to continue addressing gaps in comput...
Tags: Google, London, Education, US, Gallup, Computer Science Education, CS First Google, Code with Google, Carina Box, Sahara Jones


People with dyslexia have skills that we need, says GCHQ

UK surveillance agency says it has long valued neuro-diverse analysts – including Alan Turing Apprentices on GCHQ’s scheme are four times more likely to have dyslexia than those on other organisations’ programmes, the agency has said, the result of a drive to recruit those whose brains process information differently.GCHQ says those with dyslexia have valuable skills spotting patterns that others miss – a key area the spy agency wants to encourage as it pivots away from dead letter drops and bug...
Tags: UK, Technology, Education, Gchq, UK News, Dyslexia, UK security and counter-terrorism, Data and computer security, Apprenticeships, Vocational Education, Alan Turing Apprentices


Udacity's online Nanodegrees are 60% off right now or you can get a 30-day free pass - here's why they can be great for in-demand tech careers

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more. Udacity; Alyssa Powell/Insider Udacity offers free online courses and Nanodegrees to build in-demand, technology-based skills.Courses are available in subjects like AI, programming, cybersecurity, data science, and business.Below, find answers to FAQ and information on the top 10 most popular Udacity Nanodegrees. Table of Contents: Static What is Udacity? Udacity is an online learning platform that tr...
Tags: Reviews, Google, Facebook, Education, Trends, Google Analytics, Features, Udacity, Online Learning, E-learning, Online Classes, Nanodegree, Julia Pugachevsky, IP Graphics, Product Card, IP Reviews


Language learning startup Toucan raises $4.5M

Toucan, a startup that helps users learn a new language while they browse the web, is announcing that it has raised an additional $4.5 million in seed funding. As I wrote last fall, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup has built a Chrome extension that scans the text of whatever website you’re reading and translates select words into whichever language you’re trying to learn. That means you’re expanding your vocabulary without having to make time to study or otherwise change your behavior. Tou...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Education, Funding, Tech, Santa Monica Calif, Richard Greenfield, Nieman, Toucan, LightShed Ventures, Taylor Nieman, Japanese Co, Toucan Toucan, GSV Ventures Amplifyher Ventures


India’s LEAD School raises $30 million to reach more students

An Indian startup that is helping to better serve students from middle and low-income groups of families said on Monday it has raised $30 million in a new financing round as it looks to scale its efforts in the world’s second most populous nation. GSV Ventures and WestBridge led the Series D financing round of the Indian startup, which has raised over $69 million to date. , founded by couple Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah in 2012, has developed an integrated system to help K-12 schools with th...
Tags: Asia, Education, India, Funding, US, Tech, New Delhi, Mehta, Deborah Quazzo, GSV, Westbridge, Lead School, GSV Ventures, Sumeet Mehta, Smita Deorah, Deorah


What the MasterClass effect means for edtech

MasterClass, which sells a subscription to celebrity-taught classes, sits on the cusp of entertainment and education. It offers virtual, yet aspirational learning: an online tennis class with Serena Williams, a cooking session with Gordon Ramsay. While there’s the off chance that an instructor might actually talk to you — it has happened before — the platform mostly just offers paywalled documentary-style content. The vision has received attention. MasterClass is raising funding that would value...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Microsoft, Entertainment, India, Funding, US, Toronto, Tech, Fundraising, Dell, Gordon Ramsay, Serena Williams, Edtech, Chess


Since colleges are failing to prepare students for tech jobs, it’s time to bring back apprenticeships

Sophie Ruddock Contributor Share on Twitter Sophie Ruddock is VP, GM North America at Multiverse, a tech startup focused on high-quality education and training through professional apprenticeships. Ryan Craig Contributor Share on Twitter Ryan Craig is managing director of Achieve Partners, an investment firm focused at the intersection of educat...
Tags: TC, Column, Europe, Instagram, Education, Opinion, America, Training, Tech, Internships, United States, Biden, Apprenticeships, Black, Mckinsey, Ryan Craig


Proctorio sued for using DMCA to take down a student’s critical tweets

A university student is suing exam proctoring software maker Proctorio to “quash a campaign of harassment” against critics of the company, including an accusation that the company misused copyright laws to remove his tweets that were critical of the software. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed the lawsuit this week on behalf of Miami University student Erik Johnson, who also does security research on the side, accused Proctorio of having “exploited the DMCA to undermine Johnson’s co...
Tags: Security, Twitter, Education, Privacy, Articles, Tech, Crisis Communications, Ceo, Higher Education, Arizona, Reddit, Eff, Edelman, Johnson, Copyright Law, Digital Millennium Copyright Act


Ornikar raises $120M as its driving school marketplace goes up a gear with car insurance

A French startup that set out to bring a new approach to driver education and road safety, and then used that foothold to expand into the related area of car insurance, is today announcing a big round of funding to continue building its service across Europe. Ornikar, which prepares people for driving tests by providing online drivers education courses, lets those users organize in-person lessons with driving instructors, provides a booking system for taking their written and practical examinati...
Tags: Google, Startups, Europe, Education, Car Insurance, France, Funding, Spain, Automotive, KKR, Onroad, Driving License, DRIVER EDUCATION, Patrick Devine, InsureTech, Driving Instruction


Tom Brady and Salesforce Ventures pour millions into Class, a Zoom-friendly edtech startup

Class, an edtech startup that integrates exclusively with Zoom to make remote teaching more elegant, has raised $12.25 million in new financing. The round brings Salesforce Ventures, Sound Ventures and Super Bowl champion Tom Brady onto its capital table. CEO and founder Michael Chasen said that Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, approached the company about investing in Class. Salesforce Ventures launched a $100 million Impact Fund in October 2020, a month after Class launched, to back edtech...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Tech, Tom Brady, Salesforce, Edtech, Salesforce Ventures, Marc Benioff, Zoom, Chasen, Michael Chasen, Recent Funding, Salesforce Ventures Sound Ventures, Class Salesforce Ventures, Engageli Top Hat


Career experts share their 24 best LinkedIn Premium networking tips, from finding contacts to writing a captivating first message

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more. LinkedIn Premium; Alyssa Powell/Insider Networking is an important part of the job-hunting and career development process. Below, you'll find insight on who to network with, how to do it, and which mistakes to avoid. We recommend trying LinkedIn Premium for outreach and messaging through InMail. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Networking is a crucial skill, exponentially expanding our profession...
Tags: Reviews, Google, Facebook, Education, Trends, Linkedin, Online Learning, E-learning, Online Classes, Don, Cohen, Proctor, XYZ, Hoey, Lamarche, Lauren Cohen


Indonesian edtech CoLearn gets $10M Series A led by Alpha Wave Incubation and GSV Ventures

A Zoom screenshot with CoLearn’s founding team: Marc Irawan, Abhay Saboo and Sandeep Devaram Indonesian startup CoLearn started as a chain of physical tutoring centers and was in the process of shifting to a hybrid offline-online model when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The team sensed that remote learning would permanently change how students want to be tutored and decided to focus completely on its app, which launched in August 2020. CoLearn has since been downloaded more than 3.5 million time...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Asia, Education, Indonesia, China, Southeast Asia, India, Tech, Edtech, Online Learning, Jakarta, Zuoyebang, Organisation for Economic Co, Pisa


Graduate certificate programs can be cheaper, faster alternatives to grad school - here's how they compare to master's degrees and what you should consider before signing up for one

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more. edX Micromaster; Coursera; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider A graduate certificate can offer similar career and skill-boosting benefits as grad school. edX MicroMasters or Coursera MasterTracks can help you earn cheaper credits for a master's degree. Below are answers to FAQs about grad certificates, including cost, time commitment, and more. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky While graduate degrees...
Tags: Reviews, Google, Education, Trends, Mit, Coursera, Online Learning, E-learning, Online Classes, University of Minnesota, Julia Pugachevsky, Product Card, Insider Picks 2020, IP Reviews, Education & Personal Development (Reviews, Alyssa Powell


Garry Kasparov launches a community-first chess platform

Four years ago, MasterClass, a platform that sells celebrity-taught classes, invited chess legend Garry Kasparov to teach a class. He said yes, but soon realized that creating a message that could satisfy a majority of players was a “struggle throughout the process.” While the class did pretty well, Kasparov found it “a little bit annoying” that he had to downplay concepts and stick to a specific structure. So, now, Kasparov is launching a platform he says has been several years in the making: K...
Tags: Startups, TC, Gaming, Education, Entertainment, Tech, Netflix, Edtech, Chess, Early Stage, Vivendi, Masterclass, Rupaul, Moe, Garry Kasparov, Kasparov


Yak Tack is a super simple app to boost vocabulary

Word nerds with a love for linguistic curiosities and novel nomenclature that’s more fulsome than their ability to make interesting new terms stick will be thrilled by Yak Tack: A neat little aide–mémoire (in Android and iOS app form) designed for expanding (English) vocabulary, either as a native speaker or language learner. Yak Tack uses adaptive spaced repetition to help users remember new words — drawing on a system devised in the 1970s by German scientist Sebastian Leitner. The app’s core m...
Tags: Startups, Apps, Education, Tech, Edtech, Bootstrapping, Gusto, Language Learning, Japan Germany, Jeremy Thomas, COVID-19, Yak Tack, Sebastian Leitner, Oxford Merriam Webster, Wikpedia, Tack Board


Lingoda, an on-demand online language school with live instructors and Zoom classrooms, raises $67M

A startup out of Berlin that’s built and grown a successful online language learning platform based around live teachers and virtual classrooms is announcing some funding today to continue expanding its business. Lingoda, which connects students who want to learn a language — currently English, Spanish, French or German — with native-speaking teachers who run thousands of 24/7 live, immersion classes across a range of language levels, has picked up $67 million (€57 million). CEO Michael Shangkua...
Tags: Europe, London, Education, China, Germany, Berlin, Funding, Tech, Language Learning, Fabian, Lingoda, US New Jersey, Matthias Allgaier, Michael Shangkuan, Shangkuan, Felix Wunderlich



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