July 28 (Reuters) – Language learning app Duolingo Inc (DUOL.O) notched a valuation of $6.5 billion after its shares surged nearly 40% in the company’s Nasdaq debut on Wednesday, becoming the latest education technology startup to impress Wall Street.
Duolingo’s stock opened at $141.4 per share, blowing past the initial public offering price (IPO) of $102 per share, which crossed the top end of its target range. The stock later pared some gains to trade at $130.92 in the afternoon.
The company’s flotation comes at a time of increased investor interest in the edtech space, after pandemic restrictions sent students and teachers from the classroom to the web.
“Being a public company will allow us to operate at a higher level, and get going from the minor leagues to the major leagues,” said Luis von Ahn, co-founder and chief executive officer of Duolingo.
Following the IPO, the company will focus on improving its flagship app and getting more active users to switch to paying subscribers, von Ahn said. Duolingo offers courses in 40 languages to about 40 million monthly active users.
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Source: Reuters, Echo Wang, Niket Nishant