Kahoot!, the Norwegian game-based learning platform, has agreed to a voluntary cash offer of $1.72 billion from Goldman Sachs, General Atlantic, Kirkbi Invest, Glitrafjord AS (a vehicle controlled by Kahoot!’s CEO Eilert Hanoa), and other undisclosed investors and management shareholders, the company announced in a statement.
The deal represents a premium on Kahoot!’s publicly traded shares as of yesterday — specifically 53.1% to the closing price on the Oslo Stock Exchange on 22nd May 2023 (when it was NOK 22.86).
The planned transaction was unanimously recommended by Kahoot!’s board, the statement further mentioned.
Founded in late 2012, Kahoot! aims to empower everyone, including children, students, and employees, to unlock their full learning potential. Its learning platform makes creating, sharing, and hosting learning sessions that drive compelling engagement easy for any individual or corporation. It offers free and paid plans designed for use in the classroom, at work—in-person or virtual— or at home for social use or self-study. The firm is used by approximately 8 million teachers globally, hundreds of millions of students and families, and 97% of Fortune 500 companies.
Speaking about the company, Chief Executive Officer of Kahoot!, Eilert Hanoa, said in a statement:
Kahoot! ‘s mission is to make learning awesome. Our portfolio of solutions drives billions of learning interactions every year, coming together through continuous product innovation and a team with the ambition to put magic learning moments at everyone’s fingertips. As the need for engaging learning across home, school, and work continues to grow, I am excited about the opportunities this partnership represents for our users, our ecosystem of partners, and the talented team across Kahoot! Group to advance education for hundreds of millions of learners everywhere.
Since its launch, the startup has hosted hundreds of millions of learning sessions with 9 billion participants (non-unique) in more than 200 countries and regions. It currently serves over 1 million paying users with headquarters in Oslo, Norway and offices in the US, the UK, France, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Spain and Poland. Kahoot! is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker KAHOT.
Michael Bruun, Global Co-Head of Private Equity, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, added:
Kahoot! unlocks the learning potential for children, students and employees worldwide. The company has a clear mission and value proposition, and our investment will help to grow its impact and accelerate value for all stakeholders. Through this transaction, we are pleased to partner with a fantastic leadership team and group of co-investors to expand a mission-critical learning and engagement platform and contribute to its further growth and innovation.
Chris Caulkin, MD & Head of technology EMEA, General Atlantic, commented:
Since General Atlantic partnered with Kahoot! in September 2022, the company has maintained significant momentum across key strategic initiatives, including scaling its enterprise offering and global subscriber base while also extending its premium IP partnerships and delivering product innovation to leverage advances in generative AI. Through this transaction, we are pleased to deepen our commitment to support Kahoot! ‘s long-term growth in collaboration with the broader co-investor group. We look forward to our continued partnership with Eilert and Kahoot! team in the years ahead.
Kahoot! reported its preliminary second-quarter financial results with today’s acquisition announcement. The company’s revenue grew 14% year-over-year, to $41 million, during the quarter. Its adjusted EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, reached $11 million after jumping 60% from the same time a year earlier.
The investment consortium buying Kahoot! plans to help it further grow its business. As part of the initiative, the software maker will receive “access to the capital needed to enhance its go-to-market strategy significantly.” In addition, the startup indicated that it plans to make acquisitions following the deal’s completion.