Image courtesy of Duolingo.

The Pittsburgh-born startup Duolingo is getting lots of buzz this week after announcing that they’ve raised $30 million from Alphabet’s CapitalG venture fund.

The finance-focused news outlet Morning Brew offers praise for Duolingo, which they describe as “the language-learning app famous for helping its users find bathrooms in foreign countries.” With a valuation of $1.5 billion, Morning Brew writes, “the Pittsburgh-based startup is the city’s first venture-funded unicorn. Go yinz.”

Along with their wildly popular free classes (so popular they were recently spoofed on SNL), Duolingo has begun offering an ad-free service called Duolingo Plus that costs $6.99 per month. That revenue, along with funding totaling $138 million, is being channeled into further research and growth for the company.

Though the company has now expanded to include offices in Beijing, Seattle and New York, Pittsburghers are proud — in any language — to call this incredibly successful startup their own.

Melissa Rayworth

Kidsburgh Editor Melissa Rayworth specializes in stories about culture, gender, design and parenting. She has written for a variety of outlets in the U.S. and Asia, and is a frequent contributor to The Associated Press. Find a selection of her work at