Duolingo receives $15 million round of funding

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Duolingo, an Oakland-based startup founded by Carnegie Mellon University assistant professor of computer science Luis Von Ahn, has raised $15 million in Series B funding from New Enterprise Associates and Union Square Ventures. The funds will go toward hiring and promoting the service internationally.

Duolingo is a free language learning service that uses participants' answers to translate Web pages. Since the service was officially launched in June, it has grown to 250,000 users and now offers English, Spanish, French, German and Portuguese language lessons. Later this year, the company will offer lessons in Italian and Chinese. It also plans to release an iPhone app.

Harry Weller, general partner with New Enterprise, said the organization is encouraged by what Duolingo has accomplished so far and he has high expectations for the future.

"Duolingo's founders have fused a very ambitious mission -- making the Web accessible to everyone -- with an elegantly architected solution that simultaneously fuels worldwide language learning and targets a massive $30 billion language translation market. We view this as an opportunity to partner with an exceptional founding team in a space we're very excited about," he said in the release.

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Deborah M. Todd: dtodd@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1652.


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