Kahoot picks up $215M from SoftBank for its user-generated, gamified e-learning platform

After announcing a modest $28 million raise earlier this year, the user-generated gamified e-learning platform Kahoot today announced a much bigger round to double down on the current surge in demand for remote education.
The Norwegian startup — which has clocked 1.3 billion “participating players” in the last 12 months — has picked up $215 million from SoftBank, specifically by way of a “private placement to a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., through issuance of 43,000,000 new shares.” The placement was made at 46 Norwegian Krone per share, working out to NOK1,978 million (or $215 million), and the funding will be used for acquisitions and also to continue its expansion.
Kahoot is traded on the Merkur Market in Oslo — a stepping stone between being a fully private startup and a publicly-listed company — and today the company is trading more than 15% up on the news. At market open today, it was


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No cookie consent walls — and no, scrolling isn’t consent, says EU data protection body

You can’t make access to your website’s content dependant on a visitor agreeing that you can process their data — aka a ‘consent cookie wall’. Not if you need to be compliant with European data protection law.
That’s the unambiguous message from the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), which has published updated guidelines on the rules around online consent to process people’s data.
Under pan-EU law, consent is one of six lawful bases that data controllers can use when processing people’s personal data.
But in order for consent to be legally valid under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) there are specific standards to meet: It must be clear and informed, specific and freely given.
Hence cookie walls that demand ‘consent’ as the price for getting inside the club are not only an oxymoron but run into a legal brick wall.
No consent behind a cookie wall
The regional cookie wall has been crumbling for some


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Dfinity launches an open source platform aimed at the social networking giants

When Dfinity raised $102 million in funding in 2018 at a $2 billion valuation in a round jointly led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital, it was thought of as a step change in the world of blockchain technology. In an area that was  synonymous generating a lot of headlines around cryptocurrency speculation, this was a shift in focus, looking instead at the architecture behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the rest, and how it could be used for more than just “mining”, distributing and using new financial instruments — with a major, mainstream VC backing the idea, no less.
Dfinity launched with a very lofty goal: to build what it called the “Internet Computer”: a decentralized and non-proprietary network to run the next generation of mega-applications. It dubbed this public network “Cloud 3.0”.
Now, looks like this is Cloud is now about to break.
In Davos this week, Dfinity launched the Bronze edition of


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Legaltech startup Genie AI scores £2M seed for its ‘intelligent’ contract editor

Genie AI, a legal tech startup and Entrepreneur First alumni, has raised £2 million in funding. The round is a combination of equity and a U.K. government grant, and will be used to continue development of the company’s “intelligent” contract editor for law firms and an upcoming product targeting GDPR compliance.
Leading the £1.2 million equity investment is Connect Ventures, with participation from a number of angel investors, including former President of the Supreme Court Lord Neuberger and Professor Jun Wang at UCL. The £800,000 grant was awarded by UK Research and Innovation.
“Lawyers always tell us ‘I know I’ve done something like that before,’ but in large firms it’s a real pain to dig past drafting out of emails, document management systems and the minds of senior lawyers,” says Genie AI co-founder and CEO Rafie Faruq. “SuperDrafter solves this by automatically curating relevant knowledge from around the firm, and recommending clauses


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Parity founder demos Substrate, live launches a blockchain in minutes instead of days or weeks

While the blockchain world has seemingly blazed along in the last 18 months, much of the action has been in the currency world. The underlying technologies building this world are growing at an equally blistering rate, but until now few have threatened to ‘game the game’. Today at the Web3 Summit in Berlin, Parity Technologies founder Gavin Wood demoed launching a blockchain in under 60 minutes, a previously unheard-of feat. Although it was hard to ascertain the demeanor of the quiet, and often subdued crowd of hardcore, hoodie-wearing blockchain developers arraigned before him in the vaulted, wooden paneling of East Berlin’s old DDR-era symphony hall, the excited chatter in the hallway after the presentation was palpable.
In a grand gesture, Wood launched a new blockchain in about 15 minutes from a brand new Mac laptop, from which he dramatically tore off the shrink wrap, in order to demonstrate how little time


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Kahoot, the educational gaming startup, has raised another $15M, now at a $300M valuation

School’s back in session and a startup that’s building games to help students learn has moved to the top of the class. Kahoot — the educational gaming startup out of Norway that has been a quick hit with schools in the US and elsewhere — today announced that it has raised 126.5 million Norwegian krone (around $15.4 million), its second round this year, at a valuation of about 2.55 billion krone ($300 million), tripling its valuation in 7 months.
For some context, the company raised $17 million in March at a $100 million valuation.
Kahoot has been around since 2006 — originally as a gamefied education app called Lecture Quiz — although its rise in popularity and usage has been a more recent shift, dovetailing with how teachers are increasingly using more learning aids that are in tune with two of the more popular pastimes among kids these days: playing around on devices with screens,


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Browser maker Opera has filed to go public

Norway-based company Opera Ltd. has filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. According to its F-1 document, the company plans to raise up to $115 million.
In 2017, Opera generated $128.9 million in operating revenue, which led to a net income of $6.1 million.
While many people are already familiar with the web browser Opera, the company itself has had a tumultuous history. Opera shareholders separated the company into two different entities — the browser maker and the adtech operations.
The advertising company is now called Otello. And a consortium of Chinese companies acquired the web browser, the consumer products and the Opera brand. That second part is the one that is going public in the U.S.
Opera currently manages a web browser for desktop computers and a handful of web browsers for mobile phones. On Android, you can download Opera, Opera Mini and Opera Touch. On iOS, you’ll only find Opera Mini.


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Doctrine raises $11.6 million for its legal search engine

French startup Doctrine is raising a $11.6 million funding round (€10 million) from existing investors Otium Venture and Xavier Niel. Doctrine is building a search engine for court decisions and other legal texts.
This is a key tool if you’re a lawyer or you’re working in the legal industry in general. There are now a thousand companies using the service. It currently costs around €129 per user per month.
A little back-of-the-envelope calculation lets you see that Doctrine currently has a monthly recurring revenue of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Doctrine competes with Dalloz and LexisNexis. These databases have been hugely popular because it’s been so hard to list court decisions. Not only Doctrine managed to get a ton of data, but they also have better technology to search through all these entries.
France is currently trying to share as much open data as possible. Eventually, court decisions could be accessible to anyone. But


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Tradeshift fires-up blockchain to address late payment problem

While the cryptocurrency world continues to swirl around in a daze of troughs and highs, startups are continuing to make use of the fundamental underlying strengths of blockchain technology.
A new entrant in this race is Tradeshift, a leading players in supply-chain payments and marketplaces, which is today launching its new service which enables supports blockchain-based finance, or writing all transactions to a public ledger in order to create transparency and securing a record.
While this doesn’t involve the use of currencies like actual Bitcoin or Ethereum, “having the transactions on a public ledger ensures full transparency and the ability for companies to prove that they have legit transactions,” says CEO and cofounder Christian Lanng.
SO what this all means is that Tradeshift’s cloud platform will bring supply chain payments, supply chain finance, and blockchain-based early payments together into one unified end-to-end solution, called “Tradeshift Pay”.
They are aiming at a $9 trillion problem,


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