In an effort to minimise the spread of COVID-19, many schools, across the world, have shut down. According to the UN, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced school closures in 191 countries, affecting at least 1.5 billion students and 63 million primary and secondary teachers.
As remote learning became the only solution to move forward, many edtech startups have stepped up their game to help teachers, students, and parents to navigate the new normal of teaching.
In the recent development, Norwegian game-based learning platform Kahoot has raised $215M (approx €183M) from SoftBank, by the “private placement to a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., through the issuance of 43 million new shares, at a price of NOK 46 per share.”
SoftBank took a 9.7% stake in the company, as demand for online learning platforms skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company intends to use the net proceeds from the private placement to finance accelerated growth through value-creating non-organic opportunities and continue to build a unique platform company.
Kahoot’s board has emphasised that SoftBank will strengthen the company’s shareholder base as an investor with deep expertise and experience owning and developing software companies.
The company, in a statement, says, “Kahoot is experiencing strong momentum and accelerated adoption as enterprises increasingly seek engaging, trustworthy and user-friendly ways to build corporate culture, educate and interact.”
“At the same time, schools and educators are looking to enhance the learning experience, whether virtually or in the classroom. The company intends to use the net proceeds from the Private Placement to finance accelerated growth through value-creating non-organic opportunities and continue to build a unique platform company,” the company notes.
In 2012, co-founders Alf Inge Wang, Asmund Furuseth, Jamie Brooker, Johan Brand, and Morten Versvik established the company in Oslo. The technology is based on research conducted by Kahoot! co-founder Morten Versvik for his Master’s degree at NTNU, who was a student of Professor Wang’s at the time.
Kahoot was launched in private beta in March 2013 at SXSWedu. In September 2013, the beta was opened to the public.
It is a game-based learning platform that makes it easy for any individual or corporation to create, share, and play learning games that drive compelling engagement.
In the last 12 months, more than 200 million games have been played on the Kahoot platform with over 1 billion participating players in 200 countries. The company is headquartered in Norway with offices in the US, the UK, France, Finland, Denmark, and Spain.
Last month, the company had acquired Actimo to boost its corporate learning business. it said that it had counted about 1 billion participating players since first launching the platform in 2013.
Earlier this month the company released its Q3 earnings. The company said it invoiced revenue of $11.6M (approx €9.8M), up 240% increase in the same quarter a year earlier. It had a positive cash flow of $5.2M (approx €4.4M) from operations, compared to $-0.6M (approx €511K) in Q3 2019, and had 360,000 paid subscriptions, up 160% on the year earlier.
Image credits: Kahoot