After acquiring Oslo’s Motimate; Softbank-backed Kahoot acquires US-based edtech Clever for nearly €415M

After acquiring Oslo’s Motimate; Softbank-backed Kahoot acquires US-based edtech Clever for nearly €415M


Norwegian game-based learning platform, Kahoot, has announced the acquisition of California-based Clever Inc., a privately-held company that claims to be one of the most widely-used digital learning platforms by US K-12 schools. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

The development between the platforms aims to provide improved learning solutions and offerings to the US schools, as well as accelerate the global expansion of Clever’s solutions.

Transaction overview

Kahoot Group will acquire 100 per cent shares of Clever Inc. for an enterprise value (EV) of  $435M – $500M in cash and debt free basis, including an up to $65M 2021-2022 performance-based element. The transaction will include a combination of approx 82 per cent cash and 18 per cent Kahoot shares. 

The cash portion of the $435M base consideration is payable in instalments – $205M payable at closing, and the remaining $150M will be payable later in 2021. As for the performance-based consideration, it will be payable in 2022 and 2023. 

The cash portion of the consideration will be financed from available cash and other sources available to Kahoot, and the consideration shares will be subject to a 12-months lock-up from the respective issuance dates.

Digital learning, simplified

Founded in 2012 by Dan Carroll, Rafael Garcia, and Tyler Bosmeny, Clever builds the platform for modern learning software after extracting student data from school legacy data systems.

The company’s platform brings schools, teachers, students, and application developers together in a single-sign-on education network that simplifies accessible learning and provides an easy go-to solution for all users. 

Clever integrates student and teacher workflow through a marketplace, portal, API-based user management and single-sign-on experience, consistent with Kahoot’s content-agnostic, digital-first education approach. 

The company’s platform provides students with debt-freea digital classroom with all the resources they need to login and start learning. As for teachers, it creates personalised and organised digital classrooms, wherein they can see which students are participating. This helps teachers to instantly reach out to students who need help – without leaving the platform.

Clever’s recent growth

Currently, Clever offers its platform free of charge to schools and school districts. Last year, in 2020, the company served 50 per cent of all US students in over 89,000 schools, representing 65 per cent of the 13,000 school districts. It engaged with over 20 million students on a monthly basis and delivered 5.6 billion learning sessions.

The company has partnered with 600 application developers, including many of the leading US and global learning providers such as Khan Academy and McGraw Hill. In addition, it has also recently announced its new partnership with Google Classroom.

Clever expects to reach $44M in billed revenues for 2021 from its US ecosystem partners, with an annual revenue growth rate of approximately 25 per cent CAGR in the last three years. The capital is used in running the business and development of its offerings. 

With offices in San Francisco, CA and Durham, NC, Clever employs over 175 talents with deep education and technology expertise.

Aim of this acquisition

With the recent demand of online education, the US edtech ecosystem needs to provide students, teachers, and school districts a single-source platform to access the value-add learning solutions. And this partnership looks to provide just that. 

Clever will also integrate Kahoot’s family of learning apps onto its platform, enhancing distribution channels for Kahoot and enabling implementation via Clever APIs to millions of students and teachers in the US K-12 schools.

Eilert Hanoa, CEO at Kahoot says, “Through this acquisition we see considerable potential to collaborate on education innovation to better service all our users – schools, teachers, students, parents and lifelong learners – and leveraging our global scale to offer Clever’s unique platform worldwide. The acquisition of Clever will strengthen our offerings towards schools, districts and families in ‘Kahoot! at School’ and ‘Kahoot! at Home’.”

With this partnership, the companies expect to offer a marketplace proposition for all learning applications, as well as simplification of access and an improved offering of learning tools to all users. Kahoot and Clever will continue to offer free as well as premium offerings to all user groups. 

On the basis of over 600 application partnerships and deep customer relationships, Kahoot is expecting Clever to accelerate its growth in the coming years fueled by additional upcoming marketplace launches, further expansion beyond the K-12 segment, and international expansion plans.

About Kahoot

Launched in September 2013, Kahoot provides a game-based learning platform for any individual or corporation to create, share, and play learning games for engagement. In the last 12 months, more than 250 million games have been played on the Kahoot platform, with 1.5 billion participating players in 200 countries. 

Kahoot is used by organisations of all sizes, including 97 per cent of Fortune 500 companies, to level up engagement and learning. Its product, Kahoot 360 – a collaborative platform, helps companies to make knowledge sharing engaging, bring distributed teams closer, and connect via engaging training, presentations, and events, in-person or remotely.

It has offices in the US, the UK, France, Finland, Denmark, and Spain. In the past, the company has acquired DragonBox – math learning app; Poio, learn to read app; Drops – language learning app; Actimo – employee engagement platform; and Whiteboard.fi – the online whiteboard tool for all educators, teachers, and classrooms.

Earlier in March 2021, Kahoot announced that it moved from Euronext Growth to the main list on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The development marked an important milestone in the company’s history and its vision to grow as a leading learning platform worldwide. Kahoot! ASA is listed under the ticker “KAHOT.OL”.

In April 2021, the company also acquired Motimate, an employee engagement and learning app provider for organisations, for in between €21M – €22.7M in cash and debt-free deal.

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