Norway's Kahoot is an EdTech rocket with 900,000 unique new players last week

    Our last post on Kahoot was about the company hitting a milestone 150,000 users per week, but that seems like small change with this year’s school season underway. Today Oslo/London-based Kahoot is seeing more than 900,000 unique new players per week now reaching more than 12 million unique students. These are huge EdTech numbers considering Kahoot is an in-classroom tool, meaning their product is able to hit this traction during precious classroom time.

    The company produces a tool where users can set up quizzes, discussions, or surveys (what they call Kahoots) that can be answered by any device on any web browser. In the classroom the results show up on the front projector in real time, allowing a teacher to get an overview of current knowledge levels and then adapt their teaching. Students meanwhile stay engaged with an interactive quiz that they want to win.

    In October alone, Kahoot’s 300,000+ teachers have created more than 1 million games in 150 countries, with the U.S. driving 80% of the traction. Rather than a large marketing budget motivating these teacher signups, Kahoot’s growth has been virally driven. According Johan Brand, CEO of Kahoot, teachers are in constant contact with each other about what they’re doing in the classroom and what’s working, and Kahoot has taken off on it’s own with some smart nudging on the product side.

    But their growth can be attributed to their philosophy, which is to focus on winning over kids, which is how you win over teachers. “We have a philosophy of facts and fun. What we’re doing is establishing relationships – to show how we can connect educators and learners together in a meaningful way,” says Brand.

    Kahoot supports what they call the “Learners to Leaders pedagogy”, which motivates students to learn about a subject and then create their own quizzes to share with the class. As the story goes, you learn best when you’re teaching somebody else – and it promotes more use of the product.

    “In Norwegian we call ourselves a pedagogical technology company,” says Brand. “We make behavior change, and we use the quiz as a mechanism in that journey. The biggest success story for us is that we see this learning change. It’s actually about behaviors and the learning experience we set off.”

    Next steps

    Kahoot is trying to build itself up to be more than just a quiz. The company spent this summer helping support the global classroom movement, which so-far has been something like getting classes to Skype with each other. But by getting classes in Germany and the U.S., for example, to play quizzes together with a screenshare, you can get students to connect with each other and interact meaningfully over content.

    Looking at the money side of the equation, Kahoot has a few plans to sell value-adding features to their userbase. One is a marketplace for ready-made quizzes and second is selling better real-time analytics on learning performance. The company is already bringing in some money, however, with corporations buying a private sharing space in the product for training, something companies could hypothetically use for free.

    But right now they’re more focused on building a userbase and measuring the impact. When the time comes I predict a beautiful funding round is going to hit Kahoot considering the company is entirely self funded with one strategic investment (if that makes any sense). The story goes their new CFO, Martin Kværnstuen, recently joined on under the condition that he started working with the company. Previously he built up Mamut ASA as CFO with founder Eilert Hanoa, took it to IPO, and sold it to Visma.

    “It’s a cool thing – we have a clean sheet. Everyone in the company with important role has key shares,” Brand tells us.

    last image of Kahoot! winning Digital Service changing the world, credit to Christian Sømme