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In: Business and Management

Submitted By gabrielpingar
Words 2779
Pages 12
Duolingo: Global at Inception

“We believe everyone should have access to education of the highest quality – for free”
-Duolingo’s Team

On June19th, 2012 a new platform for learning different languages, Duolingo, was released to the market in the hopes of providing high quality education to the masses. Nowadays, Duolingo has over 100 million users, has won awards like the IPhone app of the year and Google’s best of the best in 2013 among others (Duolingo, s.f.). This paper will focus on how Duolingo was born and has successfully expanded throughout markets around the world using internationalization theory “Born globals” as base.


Luis von Ahn, computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University and inventor of the CAPTCHA, and his PhD student, Severin Hacker, wanted to begin an academic project together and were looking for a subject to work on. They realized that the language education market was highly underserved because most people who wanted to learn another language wanted to do so to improve their economical situation and get better paid jobs, and most of these people didn’t have the money to afford a foreign language course on any of the options available like universities or online courses like Open English. So they decided to come up with a way to provide high quality language education for free.

Creating and providing the best language education system for free (as von Ahn and Hacker intended to) was not an easy task, these kind of projects require a large amount of money. They need people to develop it, improve it and work on all kinds of internal operations throughout the process. this is why people have to pay to learn other languages, because the business has to be financially sustainable so they keep their doors open to the public.

Luckily, von Ahn and Hacker came up with a solution to the dilemma of offering free…...

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