INSIGHTS #72: Future of Edtech | Learnings from the Duolingo journey

Oct 04, 2021

INSIGHTS #72: Future of Edtech | Learnings from the Duolingo journey

Edtech is a category whose time has come. The pandemic and its attendant ramifications have meant that Edtech is now one of the hottest spaces for innovation and growth globally. This also means that a lot of new Edtech startups are coming up, with newer visions and interpretations of what the future of learning and education can look like.

And they have a lot to navigate around and wade through in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Which is why we bring to you this conversation with Bob Meese, the Chief Business Officer of Duolingo, one of the most innovative Edtech companies in the world. You know the company, of course, and we are delighted to be bringing you a glimpse into its history and workings.

Bob is interviewed by my colleague Manasi Shah, Vice-President at Accel. She is deeply interested in the space and has been looking at Edtech startups for a while now.

What resulted from this meeting of minds is a far reaching conversation, about the nature of online education itself, how the world is embracing it, what the challenges are, and what the future will look like.

  • 13:10-15:30: Monetization at Duolingo and it’s framework; Audience growth more critical than monetization
  • 17:52-19:41: Frameworks of monetization and the key areas of focus with each approach
  • 23:15-24:52: Perception of experimentation and subsequent failure with monetization
  • 28:07-30:00: Empowering teams to come up with newer and better ideas; also taking help from the ecosystem
  • 31:10-33:24: Retention metrics and how Duolingo approaches them
  • 39:32-41:46: Approaching GTM at Duolingo; how growth of mobile devices helped them scale
  • 44:10-46:34: Challenges during Bob’s early days at Duolingo; not having the right set of people; setting up ambitious goals and missing out on them consistently
  • 48:54-50:56: Future of edtech; how Duolingo saw edtech transform from being a “bad word” to a promising vertical
  • 51:55-53:50: Shaping up the product as a key source of customer delight