Turnaround Resulted in 10X EV Growth and Acquisition by Market Leader

 Kira Talent Inc. |  www.kiratalent.com

“Michael Frankel was the first person I hired when I was brought back as the CEO of Kira in January of 2017. Our business was in a very challenging spot. We were quickly running out of cash and had a million fires to put out. We were no longer receiving financial support from our investor base and needed to make the business profitable in order to survive. Frankel not only operated as a consultant but as a trusted partner. They worked with us for months to manage cash flow and help turn the company around. Working with Michael and his team over the past 5 years is one of the many reasons we were able to profitably scale our revenue by over 600% and ultimately be in a position to exit to a strategic acquirer in 2021.”
Emilie Cushman
CEO, Kira Talent


Founded in 2012 and located in Toronto, Canada, Kira Talent is the world’s only holistic admissions solution designed for higher education to assess and enroll students through a cloud-based platform. Kira transforms the admissions process by combining on-demand, timed video and timed written assessments with existing admissions requirements. Kira works with over 700 programs worldwide to build applicant-first assessments that identify and select their best-fit students.


In August 2016, Kira Talent raised $5 million through a Series A investment round, with total investment of $8 million. The following year, in 2017, Kira approached Frankel & Company for strategic finance, financial operations and turnaround help. Along with the capital raise, the company had gone through a range of significant operational changes and was ready to take a more disciplined and strategic approach to cash and financial management. The goal was to empower the company to evolve to the next level and ensuring it had the capital to get there.


Frankel & Company helped fuel Kira’s turnaround, accomplish its objectives and reach its potential by doing the following:

  • Assessed the business, to determine a profitable growth trajectory, which provided actionable visibility of future cash flow
  • Adjusted the cost structure, headcount and vendor costs in order to provide increased runway and accelerated path to profitability
  • Changed the nature of deals, increased focus on expansion and upsell, while focussing on longer term contracts with a redesigned pricing strategy
  • Set the business up to raise ancillary capital in the form of both debt and equity
  • Repositioned the business to enable it to reach its market potential, in line with its unique dataset


Frankel & Company had a significant impact on Kira’s turnaround, setting the company up for reaching its potential. In 2021, ETS, an EdTech global leader in providing mission critical solutions to the Education system for over 70 years, acquired a majority stake in Kira, which now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of ETS.

Over the four years that we worked with Kira, the company:

  • Grew its EV (Enterprise Value) by 10X
  • Increased revenue by 767%
  • Became cash flow positive
  • Was able to accelerate growth from internally generated cash
  • Acquired by EdTech global leader, ETS

Today, Kira is trusted by more than 750 programs worldwide and over 1 million applicants have completed a Kira assessment, with an average satisfaction rating of 4.6/5.