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‘Unicorn’ born in a Brisbane garage roaring towards a billion learners after takeover

Go1, the Brisbane tech company founded in a garage that made unicorn status and kept going, has bought a German reading app which was last year valued at $US110 million.

May 09, 2023, updated May 09, 2023
Blinklist's Tobias Balling, Go1's co-CEOs Chris Eigeland and Andrew Barnes with Blinklist's Holder Steim (pic: Go1)

Blinklist's Tobias Balling, Go1's co-CEOs Chris Eigeland and Andrew Barnes with Blinklist's Holder Steim (pic: Go1)

Go1, which reached a valuation of about $US2 billion last year when it raised $US100 million from investors, is expanding its reach with the acquisition which is believed to be its biggest.

It bought Blinklist, a Berlin-based company that created a platform where people can read abbreviated versions of non-fiction books, the so-called “blinks”. They take about 15 minutes to read or listen to. It is aimed at the consumer market and specifically people who wanted to learn but were limited by time.

It would add to Go1’s already extensive library of corporate learning. Blinklist’s app has been downloaded 25 million times and it has a reported 1 million customers compared with G01’s 8 million.

Go1 said the deal formed the “foundation of a new model of corporate learning”. The ambitious company has a goal of reaching 1 billion people.

“The acquisition of Blinklist is a major step to accelerate our vision of engaging a billion people with learning they love.

“By joining forces we can offer our customers and partners access to Blinklist’s full library of digests of key ideas from professional development books which have already proved to be among Go1’s most popular and engaging titles,” the company said.

“Now there is a new model that allows a user to jump in at any depth – a sound bite, a 15-minute summary or a full course – on any device and at any time or location.”

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The details of the deal were not revealed but tech websites said the deal would include Blinklist’s biggest shareholder, Insight Partners, taking an additional $30 million stake in Go1.

Cash and scrip was apparently used to fund the deal. The last valuation for Blinklist was $US110 million and it was understood to be cash-flow positive.

Go1 has grown rapidly since it was started in 2014 by friends Andrew Barnes, Vu Tran, Chris Eigeland and Chris Hood.

 

 

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