KEY POINTS

  • Kahoot has a market value of about $2.2 billion
  • SoftBank now owns 9.69% of Kahoot’s shares outstanding
  • Kahoot plans to launch an initial public offering on the Oslo Stock Exchange early next year

Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank Group has invested $215 million in Kahoot! AS, a game-based learning platform startup which is used as educational technology in schools.

Based in Oslo, Norway, Kahoot conducted the financing through a private placement of 43 million new shares to a subsidiary of SoftBank.

Kahoot has a market value of about $2.2 billion. SoftBank now owns 9.69% of Kahoot’s shares outstanding.

SoftBank has also agreed not to increase its stake in Kahoot above 10% over the next six months.  (However, Kahoot noted it may waive this obligation at any time)

Kahoot said its platforms are “experiencing strong momentum and accelerated adoption” as schools and businesses around the world are increasingly turning to virtual communications as a result of the pandemic.

The company said that in the last 12 months, more than 200 million games have been played on its platform by more than 1 billion players in 200 countries. Kahoot has both educational and corporate clients.

Kahoot’s CEO Eilert Hanoa told CNBC that proceeds from the share sale will be used to fund new partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions.

“It’s all about the general switch in mindset from digital tools being a nice-to-have additional set of features in schools and classrooms, to being maybe the most important toolkit they can use to create engagement,” Hanoa said.

Kahoot has benefitted greatly from a surge in interest in educational technology and increased demand for online learning venues.

Earlier this year, Kahoot received a $28 million round of funding. The company’s shares, which are listed on Oslo’s Merkur Market, have soared more than 150% year to date. (Merkur Market is a trading facility that allows quick listing for smaller companies, but is not a part of Norway’s main stock market, the Oslo Stock Exchange)

Hanoa added that Kahoot plans to launch an initial public offering on the Oslo Stock Exchange early next year.

“We’ve already accumulated approximately 8,000 new shareholders,” he told CNBC. “We believe that, by doing [another IPO] on the main list on the Oslo Stock Exchange, we could extend the investor base even further.”