How Duolingo became fluent in monetization – TechCrunch
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. By 2017, Duolingo would boast having 200 million users, which was double von Ahn’s goal when he first launched to the public on the TechCrunch Disrupt stage. “This was not very controversial back then, at least with investors,” von Ahn said. “She said to me, ‘Look, it worked for you to continue getting bigger and bigger checks from venture capital,’” von Ahn said.