SoftBank invests $215 million in education start-up Kahoot

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.

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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

Pachama: Carbon-credit startup puts a price on trees, market opportunity

  • Backed by Amazon and a fund led by Bill Gates, Pachama runs a marketplace for forest carbon credits. 
  • Carbon credits are generated when a forest is conserved or restored. 
  • As more companies pledge to reduce or eliminate their emissions, the market for carbon credits is expected to surge. 
  • Researchers challenge the efficacy of carbon credits for curbing deforestation and reducing global emissions.
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In late August, a forest fire, set by lightning and emboldened by climate change, whipped across the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, ultimately burning more than 85,000 acres. 

Diego Saez Gil’s home was among its victims. 

Ironically, it was in that home that Saez Gil dreamt up the idea for his startup, Pachama. Founded in 2018, the company aims to fight climate change — which makes wildfires more common and severe — by protecting forests.

“It is meaningful that now my house is taken by the consequences of climate change, and that those forests will need restoring soon,” Saez Gil, the company’s cofounder, wrote on Medium the day after his home was destroyed. “You can’t make our mission more personal to me now.” 

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Saez Gil’s startup is a tech company, but it’s not your typical Silicon Valley startup.

Pachama sells carbon credits, which represent the carbon dioxide that trees remove from the air. Forests that are protected or restored can generate credits, and companies can buy them to offset their own emissions.

The idea is that, in doing so, businesses can help curb deforestation while reducing their overall climate footprint. 

Though Pachama is just a few years old, it’s won backing from major investors including Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Amazon, and tennis

This Startup Expedites Enterprises’ Adoption of Software Applications


6 min read


You’re reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

In a computer-driven era, adopting or learning new software can be taxing and time consuming. On an individual level, a simple click on YouTube tutorials or calling up a friend who is proficient with the software can do the trick. However, for enterprises with thousands of employees, the situation to deal with a new software or facing an error is expensive and not welcomed. Customer relationship management (CRM) software used by enterprises across sectors to onboard new customers can be onerous to use.

Understanding this pain, Khadim Batti and Vara Kumar in 2013 founded a SaaS-based solution provider startup Whatfix. Based in Bengaluru, the startup in February this year raised $32 million in Series C round from Sequoia Capital.

In an interaction with Entrepreneur India, Batti, chief executive officer and co-founder of Whatfix, talked about the startup built based on a feature from an earlier venture and what the future plans are.

From SearchEnabler to Navigator

Batti and Kumar have known each other for the past ten years before donning the entrepreneurial cap. Both of them worked together for Huawei Telecom where they looked after the DPI and BI solutions. Building the BI product line up from the scratch encouraged both of them to build something on their own. Thus, the two quit the Chinese telecom company in 2010 to start their own venture in 2011, SearchEnabler. The startup then focused on small medium business(SMBs) and helped them to be discoverable and enhance their search and social media visibility on their own

“Our hypothesis of ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) for small businesses and charge them $30-40  per month and get millions of businesses online didn’t go as planned,” added Batti.

Batti said small

Kuwait-Based Floward’s Abdulaziz Al Loughani On How Preparedness Helped His Startup Navigate The Impact Of COVID-19

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You’re reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

This article is part of a series on pioneering entrepreneurs in Kuwait that Entrepreneur Middle East has built in collaboration with Kuwait Finance House. Kuwait Finance House is considered a pioneer in Islamic finance or Sharia’a compliant banking, with it being the first Islamic bank established in 1977 in the State of Kuwait, and is today one of the foremost Islamic financial institutions in the world.
 

Floward, a Kuwait-based flower and gift delivery service, has secured a US$2.75 million funding, led by KSA firm Impact46 fund, with the participation of Faith Capital, BNK and other regional companies.

Founded in 2006 as floral, gift retailer and distribution company, it moved to fill the gap as an online flowers e-commers platform in 2016. The startup was founded by Abdulaziz Al Loughani, who is no stranger to the entrepreneurship scene as he’s also the Managing Partner of Faith Capital, and co-founder and Managing Partner of Talabat.com until 2010. Besides Kuwait, Floward operates in KSA, Qatar, Bahrain and UAE. Acording to its release, Floward has been able to grow its current net revenue to over $30 million and has raised closed to $7 million to date, including its recent funding round.

Like any other businesses, the COVID-19 crisis has affected the startup. “At the beginning, there was a lot of uncertainty on how demand will look like, what business/safety/financial implications would it have on us,” says Al Loughani. To combat this uncertainty, the startup took major cost-cutting initiatives and asset-liability management measures. Though market size has shrunk, Al Loughani notes that e-commerce penetration has

Indonesia’s AC Ventures Targets New $80 Million Startup Fund

(Bloomberg) — AC Ventures, an Indonesia-focused venture capital firm, said it completed the first close of a planned $80 million technology investment fund.



a crane next to a body of water with a city in the background: A crane stands at a construction site in this aerial photograph taken in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Indonesia is scheduled to release fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures on Feb. 6.


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A crane stands at a construction site in this aerial photograph taken in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Indonesia is scheduled to release fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures on Feb. 6.

The Jakarta-based company raised $56 million at the first close, according to its partners. The fund will invest in about 30 early-stage startups in areas including e-commerce and financial technology in the next three years.

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AC Ventures was established in 2019 after two homegrown Indonesian VC firms — Agaeti Ventures and Convergence Ventures — merged to create scale. Its three founding partners are Pandu Sjahrir and Michael Soerijadji, previously general partners of Agaeti Ventures, and Adrian Li, the former founder of Convergence Ventures. Together, they have backed more than 100 tech ventures.

The firm will have a strategic alliance with Indies Capital, an alternative asset manager with more than $600 million of assets under management where Sjahrir serves as a managing partner. One of its funds, Indies Pelago, invests in late-stage technology startups in Southeast Asia.

With the new fund, AC Ventures plans to make an initial investment of as much as $3 million in each startup. It has put money into companies such as logistics startup Kargo and BukuWarung, a bookkeeping app built for 60 million micro-merchants in the country.

“With AC Ventures, we can invest across the spectrum — from very early-stage, to growth and late-stage startups,” Sjahrir said in an interview. “The Covid-19 era has shown entrepreneurs with grit, and investment companies that can put capital to work.”

Read more: Singapore’s Indies Raises $100 Million for Third Asian Fund

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