Go1, an Australian workplace learning platform, has announced the acquisition of Blinkist, a mobile-first learning app that summarises key ideas from professional books and podcasts, which is used by tens of millions of people worldwide. The acquisition forms the foundation of an innovative new corporate learning model that seeks to engage learners throughout their day-to-day lives.
However, the amount of the deal was not disclosed.
The acquisition of Blinkist expands Go1’s appeal to an audience that seeks to learn new skills and stay up to date on business and self-improvement topics with bite-sized content, consumable on demand. Learners can access Blinkist content through their corporate learning management system (LMS). Still, for the first time, they can access content on their mobile, in CarPlay, or wherever and whenever they choose to learn.
Speaking about the acquisition, Co-CEO of Go1, Andrew Barnes, said:
The combination of Go1 and Blinkist offers something not replicated in any corner of the corporate learning market: an experience of ongoing learning that serves professional goals that’s purpose-built to be personally engaging. Go1 is not entering the content production market – we’re combining our existing content aggregation service with Blinkist’s similar service for books to open a new model for consuming any learning content.
Founded in 2012, Blinkist connects people with powerful ideas from leading authors and experts to broaden perspectives, gain knowledge, and spark understanding in all personal and professional areas of their life. Used by over 26 million people worldwide, the platform finds the most relevant, impactful books and podcasts and distils them down to their key ideas, which can be read or listened to in 15-minute explainers called Blinks. In addition to individual learners, over 1,500 organizations around the globe have already chosen Blinkist for Business to empower their teams at their point of need—anytime, anywhere.
Thilo Semmelbauer, Managing Director of Insight Partners, added:
We’re thrilled with Go1’s acquisition of Blinkist. Blinkist’s mobile content and product will expand the learning opportunities available to Go1’s customers and create a powerful pair with Go1’s corporate learning offering. We’re excited about what’s to come. Insight Partners will remain an investor in the combined entity, as will Greycroft, Headline, IBB, and MGO.
Mike Bertolino, global leader of EY’s Skills Foundry, which partners with Go1 for access to professional learning content, shared similar enthusiasm on the deal.
EY Skills Foundry is an upskilling and reskilling platform. We are excited about the Blinkist acquisition and can now offer our customers summaries such as Jim Collins’ Good to Great. We partnered with Go1 over a year ago due to their library’s depth and learning expertise. The need for upskilling and reskilling will only increase as the global workforce becomes more agile. Having access to both bite-sized content and longer-form courses is ideal.
In addition to its popular consumer app, Blinkist also works with leading employers to offer leadership and skill development to their employees.
Launched in 2015 to become a learning and professional development resource for organizations and a critical distribution partner for content providers, Go1’s easy integration and breadth of content have led to widespread adoption on both sides. Corporations now have a single subscription for all workplace training needs, and corporate learning content creators now easily find their way to a larger audience. The company aims to unlock positive potential through a love for learning. It allows individuals to develop themselves to face the future and for organizations to reach their strategy.
The startup’s backers include SEEK, Microsoft’s M12, Madrona Venture Group, and AirTree, with Blinkist’s other investors, Greycroft, Headline, IBB, and MGO, now joining its cap table.
Go1 has been on a merger spree since raising $140 million on a $2.8 billion valuation in June last year. The firm raised $273 million in its Series D a year earlier, led by SoftBank. The business has now raised more than $400 million. In January, the company acquired UK content curation startup Anders Pink for an undisclosed sum. And it’s just over 12 months since Go1 acquired Swiss rival Coorpacademy.
As a part of the agreement, Hogan Lovells served as legal counsel to Go1 for the acquisition, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe served as legal counsel for the equity financing, and Ernst & Young served as financial and tax advisor.