Invest in AI’s ethical future

I spent a recent Saturday morning talking to a group of grade school kids about artificial intelligence. Many of them had never coded before, let alone heard of AI. During the session, one exercise required them to come up with ideas for how the AI they create would be used in the real world. I was struck by the kids’ genuine interest in creating AI solutions that would help people, rather than divide them. I left that classroom with renewed faith in the future of innovation — especially if industry can extend technology-focused career opportunities to people from different backgrounds and with fresh perspectives.

Shifting from rhetoric to action

As the employee and public response to Google’s Project Maven illustrated, the need for ethical AI in the world is real, immediate and essential to making sure interactions with technology actually mitigate potential risks, help people and improve work. A key challenge for industry is figuring out how to move the global conversation away from AI as a threat to human jobs and safety, and toward cementing AI as an ethical complement to human ingenuity. In short, businesses need to be honest about AI’s impact on the global economy while transparently addressing public concerns about the technology.

Today’s digital literacy opportunities mostly exist outside the realm of regular education. Several programs manifest as extracurricular opportunities pursued by kids or early-career employees who are already interested in technology — and in a position to spend money to learn new skills. These opt-in courses help younger generations of people adopt necessary computational thinking and wider problem-solving, analytical and creativity skills needed to work with AI and other emerging technologies. That is precisely why they need to be accessible to more people.

Companies also need to invest in proactive retraining of technical and developer workforces to close digital skill gaps, diversify talent pools developing the technology and boost ethical AI literacy. Specifically, business leaders need to empower executives and human resources with the tools, data and space to understand the evolving skill sets needed to work with AI in an ethical way.

Companies should think critically about how to convey to current employees and future workforces the massive potential and exciting opportunities to work alongside AI. And, most importantly, AI leaders need to call on global industry and governments around the world to incorporate ethical practices into staff training throughout ranks — and hold them accountable once the commitment is made.

Defining industry’s role in helping people understand AI

In the short-term, companies should prioritize establishing working relationships with public sector partners and invest in community school programs that support digital education. After all, industry has a large stake in the successful education of young generations of people — many now born into a digitally native world — who will ascend into the workforce over the next decade.

Young people, on the other hand, are in a unique position to gain new skills from in-person mentorships offered by experts, developers and volunteers who currently work in technology and AI. Teaching diverse cohorts to code and introducing them to AI helps solve some immediate talent needs for industry, but society needs to also equip people with universally available data and adaptable skills to train for a shared future with AI.

Indeed, traditional office skills — and even software programming skills — will need to evolve in order for people to successfully and sustainably achieve workplace coexistence with AI. Companies like Infosys have already committed to retraining millions of workers in diverse fields in the path of automation. LinkedIn launched an internal AI academy for developers, engineers and technical recruits to retool them for an automated future. In general, companies should invest in teaching new generations of people interested in pursuing technology careers about ethical AI from day one — and encourage them to bring others into the fold.

My company’s corporate effort to teach younger generations about AI launched in the beginning of 2018. The program’s early work has revealed two key things: young people focus on building positive applications of AI and they approach learning about ethical AI with an open mind. Industry’s current movement to outfit people with digital skills focuses squarely on coding — completely blocking out the non-coders and creative minds needed to advance technologies that continuously learn and, eventually, self-code — like AI. That is why the program’s curriculum extends beyond how to develop digital skills needed to build AI and centers around “soft skills.”

Outfitting future generations with skills and inclusivity

At their core, AI literacy programs should teach young people how to develop traits like empathy that guide how humans interact with people — and how they will work with automated technologies like AI in the near future. However, in order to truly democratize computer and AI training opportunities for people from every background, industry should look for approachable avenues to introduce more people to emerging innovations driven by AI — and outfit them with skills needed to pursue careers in technology. After all, achieving diversity in business, preparing employees for a technology-driven future and instilling ethics into innovation requires involvement from as many people as possible. Society stands to benefit immensely from making progress on all three fronts.

China tells teachers to quit assigning homework through WeChat

China’s education authorities are about to take some burden off parents with school-aged children. A proposal posted last week by the Department of Education in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang said teachers should be banned from using WeChat, QQ or other mobile apps to assign homework or ask parents to grade students’ assignments.

As mobile internet booms in China, phones have become an extension of daily activities, including school practices. Instead of announcing homework in class or handing out notices to students in person, teachers are now dumping assignments into WeChat groups designed to interact with parents. Many teachers are keen to exercise their power through these digital channels, asking parents to help students with problem sets and even grade their homework.

The regional call to action follows a set of national guidelines released by the Ministry of Education in October directing teachers and schools to take more responsibilities rather than shift the load onto parents. “Teachers should be accountable for their job, treat teaching seriously, correct homework with prudence and help students with care.”

Not all schools abuse digital platforms to such an extent. A Shenzhen-based parent told TechCrunch that her second-grader who attends a local public school still does much of her homework in written form and parents’ involvement is moderate.

“Different schools treat technology differently and I’m not opposed to the use of it. It’s helpful, for example, to use a digital device to learn English because much of the process involves audios and videos,” the parent said. “I think sometimes media are painting teachers and schools in such a negative light just to get attention.”

Other recommendations in the national notice include limiting the amount of online homework to reduce nearsightedness, which has become a source of concerns for parents and society at large.

The new directives also come as Beijing tries to rein in what and how private technology services are infiltrating students’ lives. In one far-reaching move, the government ordered video-game publishers to cap children’s playing time, sending shares of industry leaders Tencent and NetEase tumbling. More recently, the Ministry of Education asked schools and universities to audit apps used by teachers and students on campus in accordance with guidelines set by the regulator.

Despite the government’s intent to ease stress and unplug devices for students, education apps have flourished in China. Those that help students outperform their peers have done particularly well. Yuanfudao, a startup that offers live courses, exam prep and homework help, gained a $3 billion valuation in its latest $300 million funding round in December. Its rivals Zuoyebang and Yiqi Zuoye have similarly attracted big-name investors and sizable funds to help their young users get ahead.

LittleBits lays off employees as it shifts focus toward education

New York City open-source maker startup LittleBits began to lay off staff last month, TechCrunch has learned. The loss of jobs comes as the company looks to shift more focus toward the K-12 market.

Education-specific offerings have been lucrative for the company in its eight-year existence, but recent products have found the company embracing licensed products, courtesy of its involvement with Disney’s hardware accelerator.

LittleBits confirmed the layoffs as part of an internal restructuring, in a statement offered to TechCrunch.

“The true potential that littleBits provides teachers, parents, and the children is far beyond your standard ‘off the shelf’ gift or toy. In order to have the greatest impact in shaping the next generation of Changemakers, we are prioritizing our business around the K-12 education market,” the company says. “As you can imagine, the education market’s needs are vastly different than that of retail. Given this, we had to re-shape our internal structure, which ultimately led to a reduction in staff.”

It has yet to offer a specific number, but TechCrunch believes the number to be around 15. Not huge in the grand scheme of things, but no doubt a hit to a staff of this size, which numbered around 100, after its acquisition of DIY Co, last summer. That acquisition, LittleBits’ first, will no doubt play a role in the restructuring, going forward.

It’s hard not to see echoes of the difficult decision Sphero made roughly this time last year. The robotics startup went all-in on licensed Disney brands like Star Wars and Marvel, but ultimately pivoted to an education-only focus, after a disappointing holiday season. Education, on the other hand, can prove a lucrative and stable path forward, as schools and districts tend to buy products in bulk. 

Another thing both Sphero and LittleBits have in common is a knack for truly innovative tech products that could do extremely well in the educational space with the right positioning.

Amazon partners with New York colleges on a cloud computing job training program

A day after Amazon detailed plans to fund computer science classes in New York area high schools, in an effort to expand its tech pipeline for its new HQ2 location in Queens, the company this morning announced a second educational initiative that sees it teaming up with New York City and state colleges. Amazon says it will work with LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), the City University of New York (CUNY), and the State University of New York (SUNY) to create a cloud computing certificate program for students across New York. The goal will be to get students ready for entry-level tech roles – like those at Amazon or elsewhere.

The program, which begins this fall, will be offered to the tens of thousands of students across these universities, Amazon says. In addition, LAGCC will partner with at least one New York City high school to offer concurrent enrollment in the 15-credit certificate program.

While the new high school courses are being funded through the Amazon Future Engineer program, this certificate program for college students is being handled through Amazon’s AWS Educate program. The Educate program is today being used by over 1,500 institutions to train students in cloud computing by offering them hands-on experience in AWS technology. This skill can then be used to apply for jobs at Amazon and other companies.

The program includes curriculum development workshops and AWS trainings for faculty, while students receive free AWS Promotional Credits in order to perform their project assignments.

Another feature of the program is a job board that allows students to upload resumés, receive job alerts, connect with recruiters, and search for cloud computing jobs and internships at Amazon and other tech companies.

Amazon notes cloud computing is one of the highest-paying I.T. jobs, but its goal here is not altruistic, of course. It’s prepping the tech talent pipeline to ensure its new NYC “HQ2″ has room to grow. The company also adds that local demand for cloud computing talent will increase 17 percent by 2024, citing New York Department of Labor forecasts.

“As we continue to expand our presence in New York, we’re excited to work with the community to provide more opportunities for skills development,” said Ardine Williams, VP of Workforce Development at Amazon, in a statement about the program. “There is such rich talent in New York, and we want to ensure we’re reaching New Yorkers from diverse backgrounds, as we hire for 25,000 jobs across the region. We see this collaboration with LAGCC, CUNY, and SUNY as ensuring that more students have the opportunity to join companies like Amazon as we seek out more tech talent. This is the beginning of our workforce development efforts in New York – we’re looking forward to launching more initiatives to meet New Yorkers where they are, providing opportunities for new skill sets and even better paying jobs,” Williams said.

 

Amazon to fund computer science classes in over 130 NYC high schools

Following Amazon’s decision to set up one of its new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, the company announced this morning a plan to fund computer science classes in over 130 New York City area high schools. Specifically, Amazon will fund both introductory and Advanced Placement (AP) classes across all five NYC boroughs, including over 30 schools in Queens, near its new headquarters.

The courses will be supported by the Amazon Future Engineer program, whose stated goal is to bring over 10 million kids to computer science per year, and fund computer science courses for over 100,000 underprivileged kids in 2,000 low-income high schools in the U.S. It also awards 100 students per year with four-year $10,000 scholarships and offers internships at Amazon.

The new funding for the New York area schools will cover preparatory lessons, tutorials, and professional development for teachers, says Amazon, as well as offer sequenced and paced digital curriculum for students, and live online support for both teachers and students.

All participating students will also receive a free membership to AWS Educate, which offers free computing power in the AWS Cloud for coding projects.

It’s no surprise that NYC areas schools would be next on the list of areas to fund by way of Amazon’s Future Engineer program, given Amazon’s need to grow its base and a developer funnel for new tech talent in the NYC area. However, the move also drives home how disappointing Amazon’s “HQ2” decision has been for those areas that lost out when the retail giant opted to split its “second” headquarters between Queens and Arlington, VA.

There are cities across the U.S. that would have benefitted more from Amazon’s ability to fund computer science courses in their school systems. Instead, Amazon is pouring more money into an area that already has a lot of tech talent.

Amazon isn’t exactly being welcomed in NYC, anyway, as its arrival will drive up rents, displace plans for affordable housing, impact small business, and crowd already overcrowded public transportation, along with other issues.

Amazon says it will working with New York-area curriculum provider, Edhesive to bring the courses to the schools. A full list of the schools that will receive the classes is here.

Emeritus, which develops online courses with universities, raises $40M

The funding streak for educational startups in Asia continues into 2019 after Emeritus, a U.S-Indian company that partners with universities to offer digital courses, landed a $40 million Series C round led by Sequoia India.

The deal includes participation from existing investor Bertelsmann India Investments, and it takes Emeritus — founded in 2010 as offline management program company Eruditus — to around $50 million from investors to date. It also follows notable rounds in December for India-based education companies Byju’s ($540 million) and Toppr ($35 million).

Emeritus is the online branch of Eruditus. It was founded in 2014 as a response to the growth in digital learning. Specifically, it took the core elements of the Eruditus — which include helping educational institutions design new curriculums — and applied it to the online space to develop certificate courses and online degrees.

The company has offices in Boston — where it works to develop curriculum content — as well as Dubai, Mexico, Mumbai and Singapore. In total, it has some 350 employees while its partners include MIT, Columbia, Tuck at Dartmouth, Wharton, UC Berkeley and London Business School.

Today, Emeritus accounts for most of the business’s growth potential and it is really the focus of this investment, co-founder and director Ashwin Damera told TechCrunch in an interview.

“We’re helping working professionals who can’t otherwise come to these schools to access high-quality educational content online,” Damera said. “It’s very different from a MOOC [such as Coursera or Udemy], we are a SPOC — small, private, online course.”

For one thing, all Emeritus courses are run in collaboration with universities, they tend to attract older students — since they are masters level — and their completion rates are around 90 percent, according to Damera. Students on a course, he said, are broken down into sections of around 100 and then smaller working groups of around six, much like traditional offline courses.

Emeritus said it will enroll 30,000 students from 80 countries during this current financial year. That’s a figure that Damera wants to grow ten-fold over the next five years.

The company’s strategy to reach that lofty goal revolves around widening its reach to new audiences. A key part of that focus is to expand its existing English and Spanish content libraries, and develop content in Portuguese and Mandarin for the first time. Interestingly, in the case of China, Emeritus is open to a potential acquisition or a joint venture to get a local business up and running.

Right now, Damera said that just 70 percent of students are based overseas. In addition to accommodating additional international languages, he said that global push will mean the company will develop its tech stack to enable a greater more mobile-based content for students.

But, beyond those perhaps obvious areas, Emeritus is examining the potential to offer newer products and courses at more affordable prices. In particular, Damera believes there is a “huge opportunity” to apply itself to bachelor degree education although he plans to expand its master degrees first.

Tencent-backed homework app jumps to $3B valuation after raising $300M

Academic exams are a big deal in China as they determine the kind of universities, high schools and elementary schools that students get into and to a degree, the future that awaits them.

Parents are thus willing to invest generously to help their children get ahead in school. One startup capitalizing on this need is Yuanfudao, a six-year-old startup that has attracted a line of big-name investors. The company announced this week that it has raised $300 million in a funding round led by existing investor Tencent, China’s largest social networking and gaming company.

Other participants from the round include Warburg Pincus, Matrix Partners China and IDG Capital . The fresh injection raised Yuanfudao’s valuation from around $1 billion at the time it pocketed $120 million in 2017 to exceed $3 billion.

China’s exam-oriented culture has given rise to a billion-dollar tutoring market. As affordable mobile internet becomes common, a lot of that teaching effort is happening online. A report by research firm iResearch shows that China’s online K-12 market will reach 44 billion yuan, or $6 billion, by the end of this year and will more than triple to 150 billion yuan by 2022.

Yuanfudao, which means “ape tutor” in Chinese, administers a suite of services including live courses, a database of exam problems and a popular homework help app. The latter scans homework problems and solves them instantly with the snap of a camera. The startup also operates a research institute for artificial intelligence, which could train its homework app to be smarter.

Yuanfudao claims to serve more than 200 million users, which include students and their parents who use the startup’s apps to check the learning progress of their kids.

Yuanfudao told TechCrunch that it derives the majority of its revenues from selling live courses. It plans to use the proceeds from the latest round to fund investments in research and development of AI as well as improve its apps’ user experience.

The startup is in a heated race to fight for Chinese students and parents. Other companies with similar homework help services include Zuoyebang, which is backed by Chinese search giant Baidu, Coatue Management, Sequoia Capital China and Goldman Sachs. Another one is Yiqizuoye, which counts Singapore sovereign fund Temasek as an investor. A wave of Chinese companies that started with a focus on adult education have also come into the K-12 fray, including New Oriental and 51Talk, which are both listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Kahoot, a ‘Netflix for education’, launches an accelerator to tap gaming and education startups

On the back of Disney increasing its shareholding in Oslo-based Kahoot to four percent last week, Kahoot today announced a new initiative that helps to position the popular startup — which already has 60 million games and has seen over 1 billion players engage on its platform over the last year — as the “Netflix for education apps.”

It’s launching Kahoot! Ignite, a new accelerator for like-minded startups that are pushing the boundaries of education through gaming and other means.

In addition to that, Kahoot today also said it would move stock exchanges in its home market of Norway, going from the smaller OTC exchange to the Merkur Market, which CEO and co-founder Åsmund Furuseth explained in an interview is also an exchange for private companies, but one that will be able to provide more transparency to the startup’s bigger investors en route to an eventual full public listing. As of last week’s Disney news, the startup is now valued at $376 million.

Participating in the Ignite accelerator, Furuseth said, will give Kahoot the option to invest in startups in each cohort, and if it makes sense for the startup in question, they will build content that will be usable on the Kahoot platform.

“We have close to $30 million in the bank and are in a financial market where we can get more capital,” he said. “We don’t need to invest, but if we want to, we can.” 

The startup today has some 60 million games on its platform, with a good portion of those created by users themselves (making it more like a YouTube than a Netflix). The idea is that bringing in outside developers (in this case, by way of the accelerator) could inject more innovation and interesting takes on the concept of “educational gaming” — not unlike how Netflix and Amazon engage outside studios to develop originals for its platform, alongside what they develop themselves or buy in through deals with rights holders.

In addition to the carrots of investment and distribution on the Kahoot platform — which is likely to hit 100 million monthly active users this month (Furuseth said he was confident of the number today) — Kahoot is offering mentorship to potential cohorts in areas like monetization and product development. Given the fact that educational aides can come in all shapes and sizes, that might not take the form of a piece of content for the Kahoot platform.

“Putting something on Kahoot could be an outcome, but we’re also interested in ‘network products,’ which have the same desire to enable learning,” Furuseth said.

The company today has a double focus, with games for K-12 students as well as for enterprise environments. “Learning is the main topic,” he added. “We like to have the mix.”

Byju’s targets global expansion for its digital education service after raising $540M

India-based educational startup Byju’s was widely reported to have raised a massive $400 million round and now the company is making things official. The ten-year-old company revealed today it has pulled in a total of $540 million from investors to go after international opportunities.

The round is led by Naspers, the investment firm famous for backing Tencent that also includes educational firms Udemy, Codecademy and Brainly among its portfolio. The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) provided “a significant portion” of the round, according to an announcement which also revealed that the deal included some secondary share sales. A source told TechCrunch that’s from Sequoia India, an early investor which is cashing in a piece of its winnings.

This round takes Byju’s to $775 million from investors to date. Its backers include Tencent, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative — from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife — General Atlantic, IFC, Lightspeed Ventures and Times Internet.

The deal takes the company valuation to nearly $4 billion, a source told TechCrunch. That’s in line with what was reported by India media last week and it represents a major jump on the $800 million valuation that it commanded when it raised money from Tencent in July 2017. It also makes Byju’s India’s fourth highest-valued tech startup behind only Paytm, Ola and OYO.

Founded in 2008 by Byju Raveendran as on offline teaching center, it moved into digital courses as recently as 2015. The company specializes in grades 4-12 educational courses that use a combination of videos and other materials. Besides courses, the service covers exams, free courses and paid-for courses.

Byju’s says that 30 million students have registered for its online educational service Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

It claims to have registered over 30 million students, while more than two million customers have signed up for an annual paid subscription to date. Raveendran told TechCrunch in an interview that there are currently around 1.3 million paying users. He said that the service enjoys a renewal rate of around 80 percent, and that it is adding 1.5-2 million new students per month, some 150,000 of which are part of paying packages.

English learning for kids worldwide

This new money will go towards globalizing the service beyond India with an international English service for children aged 3-8, an entirely new category for the company, set to launch next year.

Raveendran told TechCrunch that the service will target English-speaking markets, as well as other major international countries including India.

“There’s a growing percentage of people wanting to learn English or [in countries where] it is becoming aspirational. Slowly but surely it is happening around the world,” he said in an interview.

The company will release the new services at the beginning of local academic years — which vary worldwide — with the aim of appealing directly to kids. If the youngsters enjoy the app, parents can buy the full experience for them. It’s a logical way to find a global audience — families prepared to spend on English tuition exist worldwide — whilst also expanding into a new customer base that could become users of the core Byju’s service.

While the company has developed the core content aspect of the service, Raveendran said he is on the lookout for acquisitions and partnerships that can add more to the appeal.

“They will all be product-based acquisitions that will be value-adds on top of our core product,” he said. “Over the last 12 months, we’ve scouted for core product acquisitions but went the other way around and decided to build it ourselves.”

Further down the line, Byju’s may develop more localized services in countries where it sees high demand for the children’s product, Raveendran added.

Byju Raveendran started the company ten years ago, but it entered the digital education space in 2015 [Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg/Getty Images]

Global investor base

That expansion is likely to be influenced by Naspers which has a very global portfolio, including deals in emerging markets like Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Asia. Indeed, the deal sees Russell Dreisenstock — head of international investments for Naspers — join the Byju’s board.

Tencent also has experience and connections, having backed China’s Yuanfudao education platform, which is now reportedly valued around $2.8 billion. Alongside Sequoia — another Byju’s investor — it is also part of VIPKid, a hugely successful platform that connects U.S-based teachers with English language learners in China.

Despite that, Raveendran said those investments are unlikely to be core to this global push.

“We expect [our investors] to help us finding partners through portfolio companies or others [but] there is no significant overlap with what we will do,” he explained.

In the case of VIPKid, he said that if Byju’s “ever decides to do anything in China” then it is likely that it will complement VIPKid’s tutor-led approach to learning rather than take it on directly.

Still, Raveendran expects the global business to become profitable and self-sustaining within the next three years. Already, the India-based business is profitable as of this year, he said, but its appeal has grown globally somewhat even before this new product launch. Overseas is currently 15 percent of revenue, a figure that the CEO puts down to the Indian diaspora globally.

Disney invests $15M in educational gaming app Kahoot at a $360M valuation

When Kahoot, the startup that operates a popular platform for user-generated educational gaming, raised $15 million in October of this year, we mentioned that Disney might take a larger stake in the company, beyond the small investment it took after Kahoot passed through the Disney Accelerator.

Now with some 60 million games on its platform, today Kahoot announced that this has come to pass: Disney has backed Kahoot to the tune of $15 million — working out to a four percent stake in the startup at a $360 million valuation, based on the current share price of 28 Norwegian kroner (shares of Kahoot are traded on the Norway OTC as an unlisted stock).

Kahoot declined to comment for this story beyond the investment announcement posted on the exchange, but for some context, this is a nice bump up in Kahoot’s valuation from October, when it was at $300 million. Other sizeable and notable investors in the company include Microsoft and Nordic investor Northzone (which has backed Spotify and other significant startups out of the region).

On the part of Disney, it’s not clear yet whether its Kahoot stake will lead to more Disney content on the platform, or if this is more of an arm’s length financial backing. The entertainment giant has made nearly 50 investments by way of its accelerator program. In some cases it increases those to more significant holdinga, as it has in the case of HQ Trivia, SpheroEpic Games, the company behind Fortnite (a very different take on gaming compared to Kahoot), Samba TV and more.

Disney has been dabbling in both gaming and education as vehicles to market its many brands, and also as salient businesses of their own — no surprise, given that one primary focus for it has been on younger consumers and their needs and interests.

In some cases, it seems it may use strategic investments to do this, for example with Disney-themed nights on HQ Trivia. Interestingly, although it doesn’t appear that Disney invests in Byju’s — which itself just raised $300 million — the educational app, which has been described as “Disneyesque”, teamed up with Disney in October to develop co-branded educational content, another sign of Disney’s interest in the field.

Kahoot has been around since 2006 but has seen a sharp rise in users in the last few years on the back of strong growth in the US — benefitting from a wider trend of educators creating content on mediums and platforms that they know students already use and love.

Kahoot’s last reported user numbers come from January, when it said it had 70 million registrations, but its CEO and co-founder Åsmund Furuseth told TechCrunch in October that it was on track to pass 100 million by this month. Kahoot didn’t release updated figures today, but my guess is that Kahoot has hit its target (maybe even passed it), and that is one reason why Disney decided to exercise its investment option.

Kahoot is not your average gaming company: some games are created in-house, but the majority of them are user-generated — “Kahoots” in the company’s parlance — created by the people setting the learning tasks or those trying to create a more entertaining way of remembering or learning something. These, in turn, become games that potentially anyone can use to learn something (hence the name).

There have been about 60 million of these games created to date, a pretty massive amount considering this is educational content at the end of the day.

Kahoot has developed its business along two avenues, with games for K-12 students and games for business users, building training and other professional development in a wrapper of gamification to engage workers more in the content. 

In practice, about half the games in Kahoot’s catalogue are available to the public and half are private, with the split roughly following the company’s business model: games made for corporate purposes tend to be kept private, while the educational ones tend to  be made publicly available. The business model also follows that split, with Kahoot’s business users accounting for the majority of its revenue, too.

We have contacted Disney for comment too and will update this post as we learn more.