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  • Kyle Chua

Duolingo Buys Out Animation Studio Gunner, Expects More Acquisition Moving Forward

Duolingo announced it has acquired Gunner, the startup studio that worked on the art and animations of the company's flagship language app and Duolingo ABC. The acquisition makes the Detroit-based illustration and animation studio part of Duolingo rather than just being its partner.

Credit: Duolingo

The fast-growing educational tech unicorn did not reveal anything about the deal, including the purchase price, as TechCrunch reports. But it'll eventually have to disclose certain pieces of information during its next earnings call as it's now a publicly traded company. The Pittsburgh-based business, which designs language-learning apps, filed to go public in June 2021.


Gunner's 15-person team is expected to integrate with Duolingo's staff as part of the acquisition. The animation studio has previously worked with other tech companies like Google and Amazon.


It was also announced that Duolingo plans to open an office in Detroit. The company currently has offices in Pittsburgh, New York, Seattle, Detroit, Beijing and Berlin.

Sample of Gunner's work with Google. Credit: Gunner

Duolingo wants to use animation to continue to drive engagements, keep learners motivated and improve the overall experience of the apps.


"There’s some ways that we use animation that we can draw super clear value from," Duolingo Chief Business Officer Bob Meese explained. He said subscriptions to one of the company's top products, Super Duolingo, rose when an animated promotion was included inside the app. "That’s something you can put a very clear economic value on," he added.


Apart from monetary gains, Mr Meese said that animations can help make the app more delightful and enjoyable for users. While he didn’t specify which team the Gunner employees will report to, he did say that the company wants to bring its creative teams together.


He also said that Duolingo plans to acquire more companies moving forward, specifically those that fall into any one of these three categories: language learning, other education verticals or tech capabilities. There are reportedly already “internal discussions” on the direction of Duolingo in the coming years, but it’s not clear yet how many other acquisitions the company plans to secure in the future.

 
  • Duolingo announced it has acquired Gunner, the startup studio that worked on the art and animations of the company's flagship language app and Duolingo ABC.

  • The educational tech unicorn did not reveal anything about the deal, including the purchase price.

  • But it'll eventually have to disclose certain pieces of information during its next earnings call as it's now a publicly traded company.

  • Duolingo wants to use animation to continue to drive engagements, keep learners motivated and improve the overall experience of the apps.

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