Oslo-based learning startup Kahoot will go private under an all-cash deal led by Goldman Sachs. The transaction values Kahoot at about $1.7 billion, according to media reports.
Also participating in the deal are growth equity fund General Atlantic, KIRKBI Invest, founders, management and other shareholders. Once approved by shareholders, the transaction will remove Kahoot from the Oslo Stock Exchange.
In a blog post, CEO Eilert Hanoa said he and the company’s board have endorsed the agreement “as it represents a fair valuation of the company, as well as significant opportunities for accelerating the company’s journey to make learning awesome for everyone.”
Kahoot is a global learning platform that addresses the needs of employees, students and children. Its aim is to simplify the creation, sharing and hosting of learning sessions.
As good as they deal might be, TechCrunch called it “a major step down” from the company’s valuation during the Covid-19 pandemic. “[It] represents one more example of how tech companies are struggling in the economic climate for financing even as they grow,” the website said.
Founded in 2012, Kahoot believes the agreement will provide additional funds for new-product development and “new leaps forward” in learning. The company said it currently serves more than 1 million paying users across 200 countries and regions. Its products are used by both in-person and virtual businesses and 97% of the Fortune 500.
With the transaction announcement, Kahoot said its preliminary second-quarter revenue grew 14% year-over-year, to $41 million. Adjusted EBITDA rose 60%, to $11 million, compared to the year-ago period.
As good as those numbers may be, many analysts believe the company is fighting headwinds, along with the rest of the online learning business as it faces inflation, an unsettled economy and the changing dynamics of work as employers and employees wrestle to balance working from home with working in the office.
TechCrunch said the PE group behind the transaction seems to believe “there is a longer term opportunity here, and are willing to bet their existing stakes on it.”