Duolingo appoints first general counsel

Apr 16, 2020
Stephen Chen most recently worked at Proofpoint

Language-learning platform Duolingo has hired Stephen Chen as the company’s first general counsel.

Chen most recently was associate general counsel and vice president at Proofpoint. He has also held in-house legal positions at public companies including Yahoo and VMWare. During his career, he has led more than 50 strategic transactions, including acquisitions, investments and joint ventures, according to a Duolingo announcement. He has also provided legal support for IPOs and other capital market transactions that have raised more than $1.3 billion combined, the company states.

‘Having spent most of my career working at tech companies in Silicon Valley, I am looking forward to relocating to Pittsburgh for this new opportunity to build out the legal function with one of the city’s most successful start-ups,’ Chen says in a statement. ‘Personally, I love how the app helps me connect with my cultural identity and learn the language my parents speak.’

Duolingo has also hired Matt Skaruppa as its first CFO. The appointments come just after the company passed 1 million paid subscribers for its Duolingo Plus subscription product in early March 2020. Duolingo states that in December 2019 the company was valued at $1.5 billion, becoming Pittsburgh’s first venture capital-backed start-up unicorn.

According to its announcement, the company has raised more than $138 million in venture capital from investors including CapitalG, Kleiner Perkins, Union Square Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Drive Capital, Ashton Kutcher and Tim Ferriss.

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