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Kahoot picks up $215M from SoftBank for its user-generated, gamified e-learning platform – TechCrunch

After saying a modest $28 million raise earlier this 12 months, the user-generated gamified e-learning platform Kahoot right now announced a a lot greater spherical to double down on the present surge in demand for distant schooling.

The Norwegian startup — which has clocked 1.three billion “taking part gamers” since launching in 2013 — has picked up $215 million from SoftBank, particularly by the use of a “personal placement to a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., by way of issuance of 43,000,000 new shares.” The location was made at 46 Norwegian Krone per share, understanding to NOK1,978 million (or $215 million), and the funding can be used for acquisitions and likewise to proceed its growth.

Kahoot is traded on the Merkur Market in Oslo — a stepping stone between being a totally personal startup and a publicly-listed firm — and right now the corporate is buying and selling greater than 15% up on the information. At market open right now, it was valued at NOK22.2 billion, or about $2.Four billion — so by the tip of the day that market cap is more likely to have gone up on account of right now’s funding.

“Kahoot! is experiencing robust momentum and accelerated adoption as enterprises more and more search partaking, reliable and user-friendly methods to construct company tradition, educate and work together,” the corporate famous in a press release. “|On the identical time, faculties and educators need to improve the training expertise, whether or not nearly or within the classroom. The Firm intends to make use of the web proceeds from the Personal Placement to finance accelerated progress by way of value-creating non-organic alternatives and proceed to construct a novel platform firm.”

We’re reaching out to SoftBank for a direct touch upon the information — which was introduced by Kahoot within the briefest of phrases mandatory for disclosure as a publicly-traded firm — and can replace as we be taught extra.

The startup has been constructing a two-pronged enterprise: first, a platform aimed at college kids to construct and use, and browse and use different’s on-line studying content material; and second, a platform the place corporates can construct, use, and use different’s company coaching supplies. The previous places an emphasis on free utilization, whereas the latter is a paid product.

In each circumstances, Kahoot’s content material is constructed across the concept of gamification — studying designed as video games — to make the method extra enjoyable and fascinating. It has described itself because the “Netflix of Training” — however I consider it a little bit extra like YouTube, due to the user-generated aspect of quite a lot of the fabric.

The corporate has been massively profitable in its mannequin thus far. It says that it has had 1.three billion taking part gamers, and 200 million video games performed with 100 million user-generated Kahoots within the final 12 months.

As some extent of comparability, final month, when it introduced an acquisition to spice up its company studying enterprise — it bought an enterprise engagement platform called Actimo for about $33 million — it mentioned that it had counted some 1 billion “taking part gamers,” on prime of some 4.Four billion customers since first launching the platform in 2013.

SoftBank is just not the corporate’s first high-profile investor. Different backers within the firm embody Microsoft and Disney, in addition to the well-known regional VCs Northzone and Creandum.

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Ingrid Lunden