How much of Duolingo’s revenue comes from haram?

Duolingo provides a language-learning platform and mobile app that offers courses for 40 different languages.

Duolingo earns its revenue from the following revenue sources:

  • Subscription Revenue:

Includes Subscription fees associated with Duolingo Plus, which grants users additional features and an Ad-Free experience.

  • Advertising Revenue:

Includes income generated from advertisements displayed on Duolingo’s platform.

  • English Test Revenue:

Includes income generated by charging a one-time $49 fee to take Duolingo’s English proficiency assessment, accepted by thousands of learning institutions worldwide. 

  • Other Revenue:

Includes revenue generated from miscellaneous in-app purchases in the Duolingo app.

The contributions from each of Duolingo’s revenue segments for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2021, were as follows:

An area of concern for Practical Islamic Finance is revenue generated from advertising (if the product/service advertised is haram).

Duolingo states, “The ads on Duolingo come from industry-standard ad networks like Google and Facebook.”

As a result, it’s possible Duolingo earns some revenue from advertisements that promote haram products/services.

Determining the exact share of revenue coming from haram advertisements is extremely difficult since Duolingo does not provide advertiser-specific breakdowns of its revenue.

That said, in light of the audience Duolingo caters to and the services it provides, i.e. teaching foreign languages, we find it unlikely that they attract many haram advertisements.

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

Only a non-material portion of Duolingo’s revenue comes from haram. 

Does Duolingo rely on interest to operate?

Year-to-Date
for period ended
3/31/2021
Fiscal year
ended
1/31/2020
Fiscal year
ended
1/31/2019
Interest Income (net)
Total Revenue$553,600$161,696$70,760
Interest Expense (net)$2$231$619
Total Expenses$68,774$177,707$84,885
Interest Income (net) / Revenue
Interest Expense (net) / Total Expense0.003%0.13%0.73%
*Numbers in thousands, U.S. dollars

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

Riba is used but not relied upon in Duolingo’s operations.

What is Duolingo’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) impact?

Environment

No notable environmental highlights

Social

In the past, Duolingo received criticism for profiting off the hard work of volunteers creating course content for its platform.

As a result, in March 2021, Duolingo put an end to its volunteer program entirely.

Duolingo has a Glassdoor rating of 4.6 out of 5.0 from over 78 current and previous employees compared to a 3.3 average for all other Glassdoor rated companies.

Governance

No notable governance highlights

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

Duolingo has a net positive ESG impact.

Comfort Rating

From Duolingo’s business, financial, and ESG reviews, Practical Islamic Finance rates Duolingo’s stock as:

Comfortable to invest in from a Halal perspective.

Sources

Form 424B4 

Duolingo Reviews

Duolingo Forum

Ending & honoring our volunteer Contributor program 

How do I report an ad? – Duolingo Help Center 

Inappropriate ads in duolingo – Duolingo