This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #71 - It's IPO Season Again. Check out the full article for more insights.
Did you attempt to learn a new language during the pandemic? You're not the only one. Duolingo, the popular language-learning app millions have turned to, is going public next week.
Duolingo joins a healthy list of app-first and mobile-game companies that have become popular enough in recent years to go public. If you recall, in most of those IPOs, app revenue was a good indicator of growth, and in this case, it is as well.
But before we start counting beans, let's look at demand (aka. downloads)
Looking at weekly downloads, we can see that pre-pandemic Duolingo was already getting millions of new downloads every week. But once the pandemic hit, those numbers skyrocketed.
Estimated downloads, by year:
- 2017: 37.8M
- 2018: 45.7M
- 2019: 48.5M
- 2020: 68.3M
- 2021 (H1): 34.8M
Demand, check. Growth opportunity, check. Let's look at revenue.
In the U.S., Duolingo's biggest market by revenue, the app is adding roughly $1M in net revenue every week, according to our estimates. Much like downloads, growth is heading up and to the right—Pre and post-pandemic.
Estimated net revenue in the U.S., by year:
- 2017: < $1M
- 2018: $6M
- 2019: $21.7M
- 2020: $34.3M
- 2021 (H1): $27.4M
That's a big chunk of change and look at that growth. Even at a super simple estimation for the rest of 2021, of just doubling the 1st half's revenue, Duolingo stands to double its revenue year over year, something it hasn't accomplished yet, according to our estimates.
Keep in mind, this is net revenue, so it's after Apple and Google take their cut. This is what Duolingo keeps.
Certainly IPO worthy if you ask me.
Compared to Outbrain's IPO price of $20, Duolingo's target is almost 5x higher, which is sure to leave out more retail investors. But like apps before it, app downloads and revenue are likely to offer a direct indication for future success, as are downloads and revenue of existing and new competitors that want to ride the globalization wave.
By the way, I analyzed Duolingo's ASO last year, and it's one of the most popular App Teardowns I've done so far. Check it out
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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.