Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., reacts during a dialog session with Jack Ma, former chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., not pictured, at Tokyo Forum 2019 in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.
Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg via Getty Images
LONDON — SoftBank has invested $215 million in Norwegian education start-up Kahoot, taking a 9.7% stake in the company, as demand for online learning platforms skyrockets during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Oslo-based firm said Tuesday it had agreed to sell 43 million new shares at a price of 46 Norwegian krone — or about $5 — per share to SoftBank. It plans to use funds raised from the deal to fuel growth through new partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions, CEO Eilert Hanoa told CNBC.
“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 in an interview Tuesday.
Founded in 2012, Kahoot is a game-based learning service that lets players create and take part in multiple-choice quizzes. One side of the business focuses on schools and home learning, while the other centers on corporate clients looking to make training sessions and presentations.
Educational technology, or “edtech,” has flourished this year as the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close and increased demand for remote learning software. That’s grabbed the attention of investors: Microsoft, for example, invested over $1 million in U.K.-based computing start-up Kano for a minority stake.
And Kahoot is no exception, securing a $28 million round of funding in June. The company, which is listed on Oslo’s Merkur Market, has seen its shares skyrocket over 150% since the start of the year. Hanoa said the
Square (NYSE: SQ) announced Thursday that it has purchased $50 million in bitcoin.
“Square believes cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment and provides a way to participate in a global monetary system, which aligns with the company’s purpose,” the payments company said in a tweet.
Related Link: Square Reports Q4 Earnings Beat
Dorsey A Bitcoin Bull: Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Square as well as Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR).
Dorsey recently said he believes bitcoin remains the most viable currency for the internet in an interview with Reuters.
The internet “wants a currency,” and bitcoin is the “best manifestation of that thus far,” he said.
“I can’t see that changing given all the people who want the same thing and want to build it for that potential.”
Square is a financial services and mobile payments company based in San Francisco. The company markets several software and hardware payments products and has expanded into small business services.
SQ, Bitcoin Price Action: The price of one bitcoin was $10,746.86 at the time of publication Thursday.
Square shares were trading 1.57% higher at $183 after the market open.
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