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General Atlantic buys out SoftBank’s 15% stake in edtech Kahoot, now valued at about $152M vs the $215M SoftBank ponied up 2 years ago • TechCrunch


SoftBank’s retreat from the investment excitement of the past continues. This morning, Kahoot, the Norwegian startup that provides a popular platform for people to build and use education-focused games, announced that General Atlantic is acquiring a full 15% stake. of SoftBank in the company. SoftBank is losing money. Sinking company at least $215 million company in the past few years. However, 15% of Kahoot’s current market capitalization (10.415 billion Norwegian Krone) works out to around $152 million (NOK 1,562,250,000).

This looks like a completely secondary round: no new investment comes along with the acquisition. (We confirmed this with Kahoot and will update as we learn more.) “Kahoot plans to partner with General Atlantic to drive further growth initiatives, drive innovation and openness. extends its global reach in homes, schools and corporations,” the company said in a statement.

However, the deal comes as Kahoot, like many other tech companies, continues to feel the pressure of a general downturn on tech stocks and the broader tech market. A year ago, its shares were trading at NOK 70.25 on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Now they are only worth 22.77 NOK. And that’s the nearly 27% gain that Kahoot had this morning upon receiving the investment/divorce news.

SoftBank, meanwhile, is in hot water, facing huge losses in its broad Vision Fund investment vehicles as a result of the doldrums in that broad tech industry. In August, the Vision Fund I reported a damage more than 17 billion dollars in just one quarter (Q1). Vision Fund 2 is reported to be devalued by about 19% on the funds that have been invested so far. In light of layoffs and major executive changes, it’s no surprise that the company is now divesting underperforming shares. (It’s still working on Vision Fund 3, though, so never say dead in the tech world.)

“We are grateful to SoftBank for their partnership over the past two years. Like Kahoot! As we continue to pursue our mission of improving lifelong learning by building a leading global learning and engagement platform, we are excited to add a partner of the caliber of General Atlantic,” Eilert Hanoa, CEO of Kahoot, said in a statement. “The team at GA bring deep experience in scaling the global education technology and software business, and position market leaders for long-term success, and we look forward to wants the next phase of momentum in empowering the learning ecosystem around the world.”

Chris Caulkin, MD and head of technology for EMEA at General Atlantic added: “We believe Kahoot has significant growth potential as digital learning solutions continue to be adopted across markets work, school and family. “With its much-loved brand, product-centric approach, and engaged global user base, Kahoot is well positioned to scale and we look forward to supporting Eilert and the rest of the world.” Kahoot set! in the coming years as they reach and attract more users worldwide. “General Atlantic and SoftBank have worked together on many deals in the past, so there is clearly a relationship between the two and that may well play a role here.

To be fair, since SB Northstar (a SoftBank Group investment fund) made its first investment in Kahoot almost two years ago, in October 2020, Kahoot has grown a lot. It had 1.3 billion users (“participating players”) at the time; now that number is 8 billion.

What started out was the “YouTube for Education” type model (with a lot of emphasis on user-generated content and how to use what you did for yourself or your own learning group, but also participating and using material made by others) has worked to diversify further into the business and beyond. Today it says that Kahoot! At work is used in 97% of Fortune 500 companies for company learning and engagement, and that Kahoot! at School is used by approximately 9 million classroom teachers. And Kahoot! at Home & Study has over 18 million users as a “gamified home learning solution”.

Indeed, the company has grown enormously during the Covid-19 pandemic, doubling as one of the platforms to help fill the void in entertainment and engagement for students who are no longer in the classroom; and ditto for remote workers as a way to build teams and more.

But just as many companies find business thriving because of market conditions, now that more people are returning to the office, students are back in the classroom, and overall budgets are being adjusted. In the current economic climate, it will have an impact on Kahoot as well.

We’ll update this post as we learn more.



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