Go1 acquires mobile-first learning app Blinkist, launches new learning model

Andrew Barnes, Chief Executive Officer at Go1
Andrew Barnes, Chief Executive Officer at Go1

Go1, the world’s learning content expert, announced the acquisition of Blinkist, a mobile-first learning app that summarises key ideas from professional books and podcasts which is used by tens of millions of people worldwide. The acquisition forms the foundation of an innovative new model of corporate learning which seeks to engage learners in their day-to-day lives.

What does Blinkist bring to Go1’s portfolio?

Go1 has made a name for itself as an aggregator of learning and development content, offering tens of thousands of short-form courses that are consumed in a corporate setting.

But engaging corporate learners on a grand scale relies not only on democratising access to more types of learning content but also on making that content available in more places, meeting learners wherever they are on the planet. And for many online corporate learners, that’s on their mobile phones or during their commute. This is where Blinkist excels.

The acquisition of Blinkist expands Go1’s appeal to an audience that seeks to learn new skills and stay up to date on business and self-improvement topics with bite-sized content, consumable on demand. Learners can access Blinkist content through their corporate learning management system (LMS) but, for the first time ever, they will also be able to access content on their mobile, in CarPlay or wherever and whenever they choose to learn.

“The combination of Go1 and Blinkist offers something not replicated in any corner of the corporate learning market: an experience of ongoing learning that serves professional goals that’s purpose-built to be personally engaging,” said Andrew Barnes, co-CEO of Go1.

“Go1 is not entering the content production market – we’re combining our existing content aggregation service with Blinkist’s similar service for books to open a new model for consumption of any type of learning content,” Andrew Barnes further commented.

What does the acquisition mean for the industry?

“I have been following the Go1 journey for a number of years and believe in the impact and opportunity that education affords. As a co-author of Bulletproof Problem Solving, I know first-hand how critical it is to reach a broader audience, and it is great to now have our audiobook, book summary and short course all available through one subscription,” commented Charles Conn, Chair of Patagonia, co-founder and Partner of Monograph Capital.

“Go1’s acquisition of Blinkist will expand top content offerings to its users, increasing access and knowledge from authors and researchers to empower learners and firms worldwide.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Thilo Semmelbauer, Managing Director at Insight Partners, said, “We are thrilled with Go1’s acquisition of Blinkist. Blinkist’s mobile content and product will expand the learning opportunities already available to Go1’s customers and create a powerful pair with Go1’s corporate learning offering. We are excited for what’s to come.” 

Insight Partners will remain an investor in the combined entity, as will Greycroft, Headline, IBB and MGO. Mike Bertolino, Global Leader of EY’s Skills Foundry, which partners with Go1 for access to professional learning content, shared similar enthusiasm on the deal.

“EY Skills Foundry is an upskilling and reskilling platform. We’re excited about the acquisition and the ability to now offer summaries like Jim Collins’ ‘Good to Great’. We partnered with Go1 over a year ago due to the depth of their library and learning expertise,” said Bertolino.

“We believe the need for upskilling and reskilling will only increase in the future as the global workforce becomes more agile. Having access to both bite-sized content and longer form courses is ideal,” Bertolino added. In addition to its popular consumer app, Blinkist also works with leading employers to offer leadership and skill development to their employees.

Hogan Lovells was legal counsel to Go1 for the acquisition, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe was legal counsel for the equity financing and Ernst & Young served as financial and tax advisor.

What is the wider industry context of this acquisition?

The state of corporate learning today is in a state of flux. The traditional model of in-person training is no longer sustainable, as employees are increasingly demanding more flexibility and convenience. As a result, there is a growing trend towards online and mobile learning.

There are a number of factors driving this shift. First, the cost of traditional training is high. Companies need to invest in training materials, instructors, and facilities. Online and mobile learning, on the other hand, can be delivered at a fraction of the cost.

Second, employees are increasingly demanding more flexibility and convenience. They want to be able to learn at their own pace and on their own time. Online and mobile learning makes this possible.

Third, technology is making it easier than ever to create and deliver engaging and effective online and mobile learning experiences. There are a number of platforms and tools available that can help companies create and deliver high-quality learning content.

As a result of these factors, the corporate learning market is ripe for disruption. Traditional providers are facing increasing competition from new entrants who are offering more innovative and cost-effective solutions.

One of the most significant trends in corporate learning is the rise of microlearning. Microlearning is a type of learning that is delivered in short, bite-sized chunks. This makes it ideal for employees who are short on time and need to learn quickly.

Another trend is the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in corporate learning. AI can be used to personalize learning experiences, track progress, and provide feedback. This can help to improve the effectiveness of learning and make it more engaging for employees.

The state of corporate learning is changing rapidly. Companies that want to stay ahead of the curve need to be prepared to embrace new technologies and trends. By doing so, they can ensure that their employees have the skills they need to succeed in the digital age.

Here are some additional thoughts on the future of corporate learning:

  • Learning will become more personalized. In the future, learning will be tailored to the individual needs of each employee. This will be made possible by the use of data and analytics.
  • Learning will be more social. In the future, learning will be more collaborative and social. This will be made possible by the use of online communities and social media.
  • Learning will be more immersive. In the future, learning will be more immersive and engaging. This will be made possible by the use of virtual reality and augmented reality.

The future of corporate learning is bright. By embracing new technologies and trends, companies can create learning experiences that are more effective, engaging, and personalized. This will help them to attract and retain top talent, and improve their business performance.

Gerald Ainomugisha is a business news reporter and freelance B2B marketer with over 10 years of experience in writing high-converting copy and content for businesses of all kinds, especially SaaS providers in the niches of HR, IT, fintech, eCommerce and web3. Since joining Upwork in 2012 (back when it was still eLance), Gerald A. has delivered great results for hundreds of clients, maintaining a 98% Job Success rate as well as 5+ years of Top Rated Plus rating (and Premium Writers Talent Cloud membership). Book a meeting with Gerald A. today to get the powerful SEO content you need!

Gerald Ainomugisha, B2B marketing expert