Kahoot! game-based learning platform an international hit

100,000 new accounts since COVID-19

Kahoot! - Education

Photo: Kahoot!
Excited and happy students show their joy in getting the right answer in a game created using Kahoot!


Kahoot! continued its growth last quarter when the coronavirus started. The Norwegian quiz game company ended with a 220% increase in sales from the same period last year. The startup delivers engaging learning and is used by teachers, students, businesses, and parents for group learning, e-learning, distance learning, and self-study everywhere.

The award-winning company’s number of users just keeps growing. For the last 12 months, 218 million games have been played, with an annual growth of 19%. And Kahoot! is just starting to accept payments from the users. Since the beginning of this year, they have gained 32,000 new paying users. A recent financial analysis done in Oslo finds that the company has great potential. 

Kahoot! also has agreements with Disney and Microsoft. Since the company’s inception, 3.2 billion players in more than 200 countries have used the platform. There are 60,000 games, and users can create their own games in any subject. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been 100,000 new accounts, and Kahoot! is offering their premium service for free.

The company was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange’s Merkur Market in October 2019. Last year, more than 50,000 teachers started to pay for their service. This is only about 1% of a total of 5 million teachers who use the company’s solution for teachers and schools. 

Most clients are in the United States and Canada, but there are also many in Europe, South America, and Africa. Of the 55 million elementary and secondary school students in the United States, about 20 million used Kahoot! in March. The New York Times writes, “Today, they are one of the world’s largest suppliers of net-based learning systems. Kahoot! has become a pop cultural phenomenon in schools and learning environments, with ‘kahooting’ being used as a verb.” 

Kahoot! - Education

Photo: Kahoot!
The app works on a computer or mobile device.

Last spring, Kahoot! bought the Norwegian game company Dragonbox, which helps children learn math, and the app Poio, which teaches children to read.

It all started in December 2011, when the company was established at the NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) Technology Transfer by founders Johan Brand, Jamie Brooker, and Morten Versvik. They worked with Professor Alf Inge Wang, a former teacher of Versvik. Wang is Norway’s only game professor and had previously received the Technology Achievement Award for his work on games. He told Innomag, that he “started Kahoot! because he had a dream of combining game shows like you see on TV with playing in the same room to make something educational.”

In 2013, the company went global and already showed profits that year.

The primary users of Kahoot! are American schoolchildren. During class, teachers will ask students to log into Kahoot. The questions and answers from the students are shown on a large screen that anyone can see. The students must answer each question quickly and correctly. During the quiz, the students can see how they are doing. The game-based educational platform is like a video game console for education.

Kahoot! - Education

Photo: Kahoot!
Students view questions on a computer screen.

Kahoot! is a refreshing new way of introducing a subject and formative assessment through quizzing, collaboration, and presentation of content. According to the company, it ensures 100% engagement by turning the classroom into a game show, combining multiplayer game-based learning, ease-of-use, and mobile technology, creating an enchanting social experience, which leaves everyone totally engaged and absorbed in the subject. Students can also work at their own pace.

On its website, three values drive the company: playfulness, curiosity, and inclusivity. “Play is the first language we learn. It is how we discover the world and our place in it. When we make learning fun, we make it engaging for everyone. Curiosity lies at the heart of all great endeavors. It’s what turns learners into amazing leaders. We believe that no learner or employee should ever be left out. Kahoot! strives to ensure that everyone has the chance to succeed.”

Visit the company’s website at www.kahoot.com.

This article originally appeared in the May 8, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Rasmus Falck

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo.