The Duolingo EC-1

Education may well be the most important activity we conduct as a society — and it may also be the hardest space to build a startup in. Selling to school districts and universities is notoriously difficult, but enticing consumers is even harder. Learning takes focus, patience, tenacity and resources, and most consumers would prefer to […]

How a bot-fighting test turned into edtech’s most iconic brand, Duolingo

Luis von Ahn, an entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to scaling free education, has probably annoyed you more than once. In fact, you’ve likely been annoyed by his work dozens and maybe hundreds of times over the years. A decade before he co-founded the whimsical and language-learning app Duolingo, one of the most popular […]

The product-led growth behind edtech’s most downloaded app

Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn was tired of the gray and dreary design aesthetic edtech companies used to emulate universities. Instead, he and the company’s early team sought inspiration from games like Angry Birds and Clash Royale, looking to build a class that screamed more cartoon anarchy than lecture hall. From that frenetic […]

3 views on the future of geographic-focused funds

For many investors, the coronavirus has effectively taken geography out of the equation when it comes to vetting new opportunities. While this dynamic opens up startups to more investment opportunities, venture capital firms that focus on a specific region are in a thornier spot. The competitive advantage they once had when raising — the notion […]

After 2019’s reality check, what’s ahead for driverless cars in 2020?

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‘We are seeing volume and interest in Peloton explode,’ says company president on listing day

This morning, Peloton (NASDAQ: PTON), the tech-enabled stationary bicycle and fitness content streaming company, raised $1.2 billion in its NASDAQ initial public offering. Despite dropping more than 10% in its first day of trading — ultimately closing down 11% at $25.84 per share — the IPO was a bona fide success. Peloton, once denied (over […]

Unbabel gets $60M for its blended approach to business translation

Unbabel, a Lisbon-based startup that’s built a platform for translating customer service messages at scale by combining the speed of machine translation with native (human) speaker nuance and expertise, has closed a $60 million Series C round. The investment was led by Point72 Ventures, with participation from e.ventures, Greycroft, and Indico Capital Partners. The 2013-founded startup […]

How to go to market in middle America

Deborah Eisenberg Contributor Deborah Eisenberg is the founder of TechStarts PR, where she helps technology companies both big and small hone their message and reach their audience. There comes a time for many startup companies where they either realize they need to do a nationwide rollout, or they need to actively target buyers in the […]

Uber spent $457 million on self-driving and flying car R&D last year

Uber spent $457 million last year on research and development of autonomous vehicles, flying cars (known as eVTOLs) and other “technology programs” and will continue to invest heavily in the futuristic tech even though it expects to rely on human drivers for years to come, according to the company’s IPO prospectus filed Thursday. R&D costs […]

This wristband detects an opiate overdose

A project by students at Carnegie Mellon could save lives. Called the HopeBand, the wristband senses low blood oxygen levels and sends a text message and sounds an alarm if danger is imminent. “Imagine having a friend who is always watching for signs of overdose; someone who understands your usage pattern and knows when to […]