Duolingo: Free Speech - [Business Breakdowns, EP.157]
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This is Matt Reustle. Today we are breaking down Duolingo, the learning app built on language learning that is increasingly expanding into other territories like math and music. Founder Luis von Ahn is constantly looking for ways to make this accessible and free to use for people all around the world while simultaneously finding reasonable ways to monetize and create a profitable, longer-term business. Duolingo has adjusted its business model over time to ensure that this can happen. My guest is Thaiha Nguyen from Baillie Gifford. You should assume that most of our guests own the businesses that they are covering on business breakdowns, but it's important to mention here that Thaiha works for Baillie Gifford's Positive Change Strategy. They invest not only for returns but also for the impact on society.  Thaiha and I cover the fascinating founder story behind Duolingo, how Duolingo has succeeded in a largely offline market, how they've approached monetization, and how they plan to expand from here. Please enjoy this breakdown of Duolingo. Interested in hiring from the Colossus Community? Click here. For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here. ----- This episode is brought to you by Public. A High-Yield Cash Account is a secondary brokerage account with Public Investing, member FINRA/SIPC. Funds from this account are automatically deposited into partner banks where they earn a variable interest and are eligible for FDIC insurance. Neither Public Investing nor any of its affiliates is a bank. US only. Learn more at public.com/disclosures/high-yield-account. This episode is brought to you by Tegus, the only investment research platform built for fundamental investors. Whether you’re trying to get up to speed on a new market or keep tabs on a portfolio company, Tegus is the end-to-end investment research platform you need. With Tegus, you can quickly understand a company's business model, drivers, benchmarks, and management quality. To monitor an entire market, download our pre-built financial models — or update your own with the latest data using Tegus’ new Excel Add-In. Tegus gives you all of this and more, all bundled into a single software license. Find out why 95% of the top 20 global private equity firms are Tegus customers. Learn more and get your free trial at tegus.com/patrick. ----- Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes. Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @zbfuss | @ReustleMatt | @domcooke Editing and post-production work for this episode was provided by The Podcast Consultant (https://thepodcastconsultant.com). Show Notes (00:00:00) Welcome to Business Breakdowns (00:05:09) The Fascinating Founder Story of Duolingo (00:11:42) Exploring the Language Learning Market and Duolingo's Impact (00:25:26) The Evolution From Translation Service to EdTech Leader (00:28:04) How Duolingo Became a Freemium Giant (00:32:17) Understanding Duolingo's Diverse User Base (00:34:03) Why People Choose Paid Subscriptions Over Free Options (00:36:54) Duolingo's Certification and Assessment Business (00:39:57) Leveraging AI for Personalized Learning Experiences (00:43:06) Exploring Duolingo's Financial Health and Growth Strategy (00:46:37) The Future of Educational Offerings Beyond Language Learning (00:48:20) Duolingo in the Classroom (00:54:50) Navigating the Risks and Opportunities in EdTech (00:57:58) Key Lessons from Duolingo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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