Business news briefs: Language app Duolingo hits funds goal

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Duolingo hits funds goal

Shadyside-based language learning app Duolingo has closed a $20 million round of funding led by Menlo Park, Calif.-based investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. As part of the deal, Kleiner Perkins partner Bing Gordon will join Duolingo's board as an observer. Duolingo uses a game-based strategy featuring verbal and visual cues to teach users new languages and to transcribe large documents for paying clients. The funding will support Duolingo's plans to expand to translating additional languages and an effort to create a language certification exam as part of the app, Mr. Von Ahn said. He added that the funds also will go toward adding at least another 15 employees to its team of 34.

PNC gets Canadian expansion OK

PNC Bank said Tuesday it received the nod from Canadian regulators to expand its commercial banking services in Canada. PNC established a commercial lending branch in Toronto in 2001 and has offices in Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver. The bank is adding a range of treasury management services and credit options.

Trib buys Power ownership stake

Trib Total Media spent $2 million in buying an ownership stake in the Pittsburgh Power of the Arena Football League this month, according to SEC documents. The filing lists Trib Total Media president Ralph Martin and attorney Yale Gutnick as directors of Shaner Arena Football LLC, which operates as the Power. Trib Total Media, the parent company of the Tribune Review, joins Matt Shaner and former Steeler Lynn Swann as owners.

Oakland restaurant given alert

Sushi Boat Asian Kitchen in Oakland was hit with a "Consumer Alert" Tuesday by the Allegheny County Health Department for numerous critical food safety violations including rat droppings in the kitchen and food being held at unsafe temperatures. Inspection reports for Sushi Boat and other restaurants in the county are available online at

Game maker's $500M IPO hopes

The maker of the blockbuster mobile game "Candy Crush Saga" will attempt to raise as much as $500 million in an initial public offering. King Digital Entertainment PLC did not disclose how many shares are expected to be in the IPO or the projected price range. The Irish company plans to use proceeds from the sale for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

Also in business ...

FNB Corp. in Hermitage said it completed the previously announced acquisition of BCSB Bancorp., parent company of Baltimore County Savings Bank with 24 offices in Maryland. ... Calgon Carbon president and CEO Randall S. Dearth will become chairman of the Robinson environmental products and services firm May 1, when he succeeds retiring chairman Seth Schofield. ... Downtown health supplements retailer GNC Holdings said Andrew S. Drexler, senior vice president and corporate controller, has resigned, effective Feb. 28. Mr. Drexler is taking a position as CFO of "another large retail company," according to a regulatory filing.

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