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The Spectrum Equity-backed video education platform Kajabi has already hit $60 million in ARR

Jonathan Shieber
·3-min read
Vector illustration concept of confused businessman character with sales bar chart moving up and down. Red background.
Vector illustration concept of confused businessman character with sales bar chart moving up and down. Red background.

Kajabi may not be an American household name, but users of the web hosting and video tech platform are now being seen in a lot of American households.

The company, initially bootstrapped and profitable since its launch, raised a minority investment from Spectrum Equity Partners last November, but that was merely icing on the cake for a business that had seen its user adoption surge.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed that adoption even higher as work-from-home gigs yield to work-from-home side hustles and anyone and everyone decides to get in on the online education and training action, the company said.

In the past year alone, the company has seen its run rate cross $60 million in August, and the company hit the over $1 billion in recorded transactions milestone in March, according to chief marketing officer Orlando Baeza, who previously served as a marketing executive at BuzzFeed and Paramount Pictures.

Last November, the company took a minority equity investment from Spectrum Equity Partners, the first outside capital the company raised since its inception a bit over a decade ago.

Founded by a former commodities trader, Kenny Rueter, Kajabi is like Thinkific or Patreon primarily for online learning and video-based entrepreneurs.

"It’s not just a way to sell your content," said Kajabi president, Jonathan Cronstedt. "It does do your webpage, blog, email marketing, marketing automation, digital delivery. It does the webinar aspect and the marketing you’d need to build up a list of prospects… It's a platform from start to finish for an online business."

If the best way to make money during a gold rush is to sell picks and shovels, then think of Kajabi as the pick and shovel purveyor for the self-help, startup guide, guru advice set.

The company touts its enabling of self-help legends like Brendon Burchard, Danielle Leslie and Amy Porterfield and, most recently, Sophia Amoruso, who joined the platform in August.

"We want to empower entrepreneurs, experts and influencers who are serious about their business to have success online," Cronstedt told me in November when the company took its minority investment from Spectrum Equity.

The company's toolkit basically serves as an integration of the various bundle of software a business would need to get itself off the ground. Instead of integrating Shopify, Wix and other platforms to create a full stack of tools, Kajabi does it for a business.

"There’s endless ways you can use duct tape and bailing wire to get all of these solutions together," said Cronstedt. "[Businesses are] not going to have the chance to get it out there because they’re too busy trying to be a platform integrator… they never get into creating anything."

With over 100 employees, the company sees itself on a pandemic-driven trajectory that should set the company up for massive growth.

Indeed, online learning is now a $220 billion global market, and the self-help market alone is $11 billion (people need a lot of help). The company also cites statistics that put the number of Americans pursuing a "side hustle" at roughly 35%, with an estimated 40 million "solopreneurs" in the U.S. workforce.

"Since inception, we have helped 41 million users access great educational content and our customers have generated over 1 billion in sales,” said Rueter, in a November statement. “We feel fortunate to partner with incredible entrepreneurs who are sharing their expertise with the world and are excited to help so many more."