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Posts filtered by tags: Luis Von Ahn[x]


 

Duolingo swipes Tinder in a Clash Royale

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. For this week’s deep dive, Alex and Danny unpacked Natasha‘s latest project: The Duolingo EC-1. The 12,000 word four-part series was published last week and is worth a read. But, until you get to it, enjoy our podcast that doubles-clicks into its most interesting bits. Duo, Duolingo’s mascot, flying around. Image Credits: Duolingo Here’s how it went, after we g...
Tags: Apple, TC, Tech, Monetization, EC, Alex, Edtech, Duolingo, Danny, Natasha, Luis Von Ahn


How Duolingo became a $2.4B language unicorn

At the heart of Duolingo is its mission: to scale free education and increase income potential through language learning. However, the same mission that has helped it grow to a business valued at $2.4 billion with over 500 million registered learners, has led to tensions that continue to define the business. How do you survive as a startup if you don’t want to charge users? How do you design a startup that isn’t too hard to lose people, but isn’t too easy to compromise education? How do you bala...
Tags: Startups, TC, Elon Musk, Boston, Tech, CMO, Tesla, Yale, Mary Barra, Gm, SEC, Bill, EC, Argo, Edtech, Duolingo


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


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


Two weeks left to score a $99 pass to TC Disrupt 2021

Building and sustaining a startup is as challenging as it is fulfilling. Doing it during a global pandemic takes unprecedented (oy, there’s that word again) ingenuity, support and expert insight. You’ll find all of that and more at TC Disrupt 2021 on September 21-23. A shut-the-front-door moment: Want to access all the expert advice, networking, community connection and potential growth opportunities for less than $100? Heck yeah. You have just two left weeks to score the super early-bird price....
Tags: TC, Tech, Sydney, Duolingo, Startup Alley, Volvo Cars, Luis Von Ahn, Startup Battlefield, Alexa von Tobel, Ahn, Terri Burns, TC Disrupt 2021, Rachael Wilcox


Discover how Duolingo started with CEO Luis von Ahn at Disrupt 2021

Before Luis von Ahn co-founded Duolingo, a gamified language-learning app used by hundreds of millions around the world, he was fixated on squiggly letters. The entrepreneur was a co-inventor of CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA, or those security prompts you get while browsing the web to verify if you are a human or if you are a robot. And while von Ahn often jokes that his early inventions were considered annoying (it causes friction when consumers have to decipher letters before logging into their email)...
Tags: Google, TC, Education, Events, Tech, Language, Edtech, Duolingo, Techcrunch Disrupt, Luis Von Ahn, Ahn, Von Ahn, Duolingo Von Ahn


As edtech grows cash rich, some lessons for early stage

Last week, Udemy, an online learning marketplace, raised $50 million at a $3.32 billion valuation, up from a $2 billion valuation earlier this year. Language learning app Duolingo raised $35 million on a $2.4 billion valuation, up from a $1.65 valuation from earlier this year. The valuation bumps for both Duolingo and Udemy underscore just how much investor confidence there is in edtech’s remote learning boom. Today, let’s examine some lessons early-stage startups can learn from late-stage edtec...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, TC, Education, Tech, Edtech, Duolingo, Udemy, Luis Von Ahn, Corporate Learning, Re-skilling


Language learning app Duolingo confirms it has raised $35M on a $2.4B valuation

Last week, we reported that popular language learning app Duolingo, with 500 million total app downloads​, was raising $35 million on a valuation of at least $2.21 billion — the latest chapter in what has become a long book on how e-learning and other education startups are raking in big audiences and significant funding, a byproduct of the Covid-19 pandemic driving more people indoors and on to screens for all of their interactions. (Fittingly, Duolingo’s details were part of a bigger scoop ...
Tags: Facebook, Asia, London, Education, Softbank, Funding, Tech, Netflix, Atlantic, Edtech, General Atlantic, Duolingo, Pittsburgh, Language Learning, Trump, Luis


I'm a VC who previously helped launch and run multiple businesses within Google. Here are 5 leadership lessons for founders who want to scale their startup successfully.

Smart, balanced leadership is key for taking a startup to the next level. Thomas Barwick/Getty New startups are launched every day, but few of them become truly successful multibillion-dollar companies or enduring franchises. Laela Sturdy, a general partner at Alphabet's growth fund CapitalG and former managing director of emerging businesses at Google, says smart leadership is key when it comes to whether a startup will succeed or fail. Sturdy says new founders should spread out recruitin...
Tags: Google, Startups, Leadership, Entrepreneur, Trends, Tech, Best, Customer, Unicorns, VCs, Alphabet, Onboarding, Google Here, Nordic, Don, Luis Von Ahn


Airbnb nears IPO as Asana and Palantir land their direct listings

Editor’s note: Get this free weekly recap of TechCrunch news that any startup can use by email every Saturday morning (7 a.m. PT). Subscribe here. The going has not always been easy but the tech IPOs keep coming. Airbnb itself is almost here, in what is likely to be the ultimate stock market listing of this dramatic year. After the pandemic triggered mass layoffs for the short-term rental marketplace, it has managed to make up all of the lost ground to pre-pandemic projections, TechCrunch and ot...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, Startups, TC, Spotify, Milan, China, India, Softbank, US, Tech, Tesla, Spain, Barcelona, Rome


What if the kernel is corrupt?

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s VC-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week, Alex is on a much deserved vacation (but not from Twitter, it seems) so Danny Crichton and I chatted through the news and happenings of the week. Somehow we winded our way through the latest tech controversies, gave Chris Wallace a shout out, and ended with some funding rounds. I’ll be out next week so don’t miss me too much, but expect the entire E...
Tags: Apple, TC, Softbank, Tech, Abu Dhabi, Black Lives Matter, Equity, Alex, Coinbase, Silver Lake, Duolingo, Clubhouse, Chris Wallace, Danny, Luis Von Ahn, Danny Crichton


Daily Crunch: Amazon lets you pay with your palm

Amazon unveils a new biometric ID technology, the Biden campaign takes aim at Facebook and iRobot’s co-founder joins a robotic gardening startup. This is your Daily Crunch for September 29, 2020. The big story: Amazon lets you pay with your palm The company announced a new biometric device for Amazon Go stores. Called Amazon One, the first time you use it, you insert your credit card and scan your palm; after that, you can just hold your palm over the device when entering the store and Amazon...
Tags: Amazon, Facebook, Ecommerce, Mark Zuckerberg, Hardware, Washington, Disney, Tech, Barcelona, Biden, Seattle, Madrid, Irobot, Duolingo, Helen Greiner, Polaris


Duolingo CEO explains language app’s surge in bookings

Language learning apps, like many educational technology platforms, soared when millions of students went home in response to safety concerns from the coronavirus pandemic. It makes sense: Everyone became an online learner in some capacity, and for non-frontline workers, each day became an opportunity to squeeze in a new skill (beyond sourdough). So why not learn a new language in a low-lift way? Language learning platforms, including Babbel, Drops and Duolingo, all have benefitted from qu...
Tags: Startups, TC, Tech, Edtech, Duolingo, Babbel, Language Learning, Luis Von Ahn, Ahn, Von Ahn


Duolingo’s new app teaches children how to read and write

Until now, Duolingo‘s focus was always squarely on teaching languages, but today, the company launched Duolingo ABC, a free English literacy app for children ages 3 to 6. Originally, the company had planned on unveiling this app later in the year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it decided to launch it early to help parents who are now suddenly finding themselves homeschooling their children. The ad-free app is now available in the U.S., UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It includes ove...
Tags: TC, Abc, Australia, Tech, United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Literacy, Gamification, Duolingo, Luis Von Ahn, UK Ireland Australia, Contents, Duolingo ABC


Silicon Valley is facing an exodus of young employees. Here's why one tech investor is betting on Pittsburgh to take up the mantle.

As young tech workers plan to flee the San Francisco Bay Area for a lower cost of living, one tech investor is betting on Pittsburgh to become the next big tech hub. The former steel capital is more affordable than Silicon Valley, but it also boasts a rich talent pool.  Patrick McKenna, a tech investor, runs a nonprofit called One America Works that aims to bring high-tech companies to overlooked tech hubs like Pittsburgh. "We like to say if it's good enough for Google to go to Pittsburgh, isn...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Microsoft, San Francisco, Trends, United States, Silicon Valley, Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Carnegie Mellon University, Patrick Mckenna, Pittsburgh, Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Area, Tim Ferriss, University of Pittsburgh


The CEO of a $700 million company uses a simple sentence to turn lazy employees around

Duolingo CEO Luis Von Ahn has a strategy for encouraging under-performing employees. He told the Financial Times that he just tells them: "What you're doing is really important." The technique ties back to the idea that people need to feel like their work has meaning. Duolingo CEO Luis Von Ahn knows exactly what to do with lazy employees. The founder of the language learning app — which has been valued at $700 million — recently discussed his strategy for dealing with unengaged employees in ...
Tags: Google, Trends, Linkedin, Financial Times, Duolingo, Glassdoor, Don, Luis Von Ahn, Von Ahn


Duolingo hires its first chief marketing officer as active user numbers stagnate

Duolingo, the popular language learning service, today announced that it has now hit more than 300 million users worldwide. A year ago, Duolingo reported 200 million total users. That’s great, but the number of monthly active users on the service remains stagnant. Duolingo reported 25 million active users a year ago — and that’s still the same today, a company spokesperson confirmed. The company argues this is due to its focus on revenue growth instead of user growth in the last year, but it did...
Tags: TC, Apps, Education, Tech, CMO, Computing, Nintendo, Duolingo, Luis Von Ahn, Personnel, Dunaway, Cammie Dunaway, Duolingo Dunaway


Duolingo hires its first chief marketing officer as active user numbers stagnate but revenue grows

Duolingo, the popular language learning service, today announced that it has now hit more than 300 million users worldwide. A year ago, Duolingo reported 200 million total users. That’s great, but the number of monthly active users on the service remains stagnant. Duolingo reported 25 million active users a year ago — and that’s still the same today, a company spokesperson confirmed. The company argues this is due to its focus on revenue growth instead of user growth in the last year, but it did...
Tags: TC, Apps, Education, Tech, CMO, Computing, Nintendo, Duolingo, Luis Von Ahn, Personnel, Dunaway, Cammie Dunaway, Duolingo Dunaway


How Duolingo's CEO went from being a 10-year-old video-game bootlegger to building a $700 million company

Duolingo cofounder and CEO Luis von Ahn is a crowdsourcing pioneer and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a "Genius Grant." Von Ahn grew up comfortably in Guatemala City but traveled to the United States to join the American tech scene. He is one of the creators of "captcha" technology, as well as its "recaptcha" successor, which helped digitize a year of New York Times articles in a week. His language learning app, Duolingo, has millions of users worldwide and is prepa...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Texas, Microsoft, Yahoo, Obama, White House, US, San Francisco, Trends, United States, New York Times, Bill Gates, Nintendo, Warren Buffett


Duolingo's CEO on how he built a $700 million company and why he gave away his first invention to Yahoo for free

Duolingo cofounder and CEO Luis von Ahn is a crowdsourcing pioneer and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a "Genius Grant." Von Ahn grew up comfortably in Guatemala City but traveled to the United States to join the American tech scene. He is one of the creators of "captcha" technology, as well as its "recaptcha" successor, which helped digitize a year of New York Times articles in a week. His language learning app, Duolingo, has millions of users worldwide and is prepa...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Texas, Microsoft, Yahoo, Obama, White House, US, San Francisco, Trends, United States, New York Times, Bill Gates, Nintendo, Warren Buffett


Duolingo To Silicon Valley Workers: Move To Pittsburgh, Where You Can Actually Afford a Home

As the cost of living continues to rise in Silicon Valley, tech companies in other parts of the country are getting more aggressive in pitching workers to move to their cities for a better quality of life. From a report: This week, the language-learning platform Duolingo put up an ad along San Francisco's US Highway 101, encouraging residents to move to Pittsburgh where the company's headquarters are based. In Pittsburgh, you can both "work in tech" and "own a home," the ad touted. Duolingo CEO ...
Tags: San Francisco, Tech, Silicon Valley, VentureBeat, Duolingo, Pittsburgh, Bay Area, Luis Von Ahn, Ahn, US Highway 101, Silicon Valley Workers, Von Ahn


Duolingo raises $25M at a $700M valuation

 Duolingo, the popular language learning service that was co-founded by reCAPTCHA founder Luis von Ahn, today announced that it has raised a $25 million Series E round led by Drive Capital. This brings Duolingo’s total funding to $108.3 million and the company says that its valuation in this last round was $700 million. Read More
Tags: Fundings & Exits, TC, Education, Tech, Duolingo, Language Learning, Luis Von Ahn


Pittsburgh Gets a Tech Makeover

An anonymous reader shares a report: In 2015, Monocle magazine, a favorite read of the global hipsterati, published an enthusiastic report on Lawrenceville, the former blue-collar neighborhood here filled with cafes, hyped restaurants and brick rowhouses being renovated by flippers. Last year, in a much-publicized development, Uber began testing self-driving cars on the streets, putting this city at the forefront of the autonomous-vehicle revolution. Also last year, in a less publicized developm...
Tags: Boston, Tech, Brooklyn, Tokyo, Duolingo, Jean Yang, Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh, Portland Ore, Lawrenceville, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Luis Von Ahn, Bill Peduto, Apple Facebook Google, Caesar Wirth


A CEO who sold 2 companies to Google gives his best advice on taking career risks

Luis Von Ahn isn't new to the tech game. The CEO and founder of language app Duolingo previously sold two other tech products to Google early on in his career. The first was ESP game, a computation game created to develop difficult metadata, which Google licensed as the Google Image Labeler in 2006. The other company was reCAPTCHA, a system used to ascertain whether or not a computer user is human. The tech giant acquired reCAPTCHA in 2009. So, what advice does von Ahn have for young people loo...
Tags: Google, Trends, Silicon Valley, Luis Von Ahn, Ahn, Google Image Labeler


Duolingo adds support for Japanese

 Duolingo, the popular language learning service, today added support for learning Japanese to its iOS and Android apps. “This is by far the most requested and highly-anticipated course launch in Duolingo’s five-year history,” said Duolingo co-founder and CEO Luis von Ahn in today’s announcement. “No matter what we’d share on social media, tons of people… Read More
Tags: TC, Tech, Japanese, Duolingo, Language Learning, Luis Von Ahn


Duolingo wants to reinvent flashcards with Tinycards

 Duolingo is probably the most popular mobile education app, but until now, the company’s focus has been solely on language learning. Today, the company is expanding its reach by launching Tinycards for iOS, its first app that can be used for learning virtually anything that involves memorization: vocabulary, equations, history facts and every Pokemon’s name and stats (and yes… Read More
Tags: Ios, TC, Mobile, Crowdsourcing, Education, Tech, Pokemon, Memorization, Duolingo, Vocabulary, Luis Von Ahn, Flashcards



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