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4 Million Milestone: American K-12 Schools are Going Paperless with Kami

To our four million Kami users,

We are excited to share the exciting news of reaching over four million signed up users, doubling our growth in the last year. Going paperless has never been so easy that there are over 12,000 American K-12 schools are switching from traditional pen and paper to using devices such as Chromebook and Kami to create and annotate content in the classroom.

With your support and feedback, we have been your number one online PDF and document annotation app in the Chrome Web Store and G Suite Marketplace for more than a year now. Our success in the Google marketplaces echoes our growing community, as well as the notable rise of districts and schools upgrading to a Kami license.

And to all the educators who have made school work more accessible, thank you. You have not only welcomed technology to your classrooms but have also encouraged better communication and active participation amongst your students.

Together, we are building a future with paperless classrooms and workplaces. We cannot wait to see what this beautiful collaboration brings.

Thank you,
Kami Team


“3 years ago, the Kami founders set out to remove barriers to more collaborative learning in the classroom. Four million users later, they’ve had a massive impact on our next generation of learners and their educators,” – Sam Altman (Y Combinator and Kami investor)


Kami is an essential app for Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and Chromebook schools because of the annotation tools that enable students to complete worksheets and do close reading exercises. We have also integrated and partnered with Google for Education to make it easier for teachers to create assignments on Kami, which instantly syncs to their Google Classroom accounts. “Apps [like Kami] that integrate with Classroom offer educators a seamless experience, and allow them to easily share information between Classroom and other tools they love,” according to a recent blog post published by the Google Classroom team.

Image: High School students in California using Kami during a close reading exercise.

“It makes my life so much easier. I don’t have to convert files from a PDF to a different type of document. Also, I can use publisher-provided PDF documents and have my students annotate,” says Brittney Goodwin, English teacher at Banning High School, in California.

As classrooms transition from traditional pen and paper to devices like Chromebooks, there is a fundamental need for tools that will help transition schoolwork to be digital. “Teachers love being able to annotate directly on their PDF’s that they share with their students,” says Ben Sondgeroth, an instructor at Edtech Teacher. This is where Kami becomes the digital version of tools that teachers and students are familiar with, and it has features that encourage active student participation and collaboration. “I think those are the two big features that teachers love to bring in PDF’s and that they have used successfully in the past, but they now digitize those activities, so they are not losing work they have already done and created,” adds Sondegroth.


Kami also solves the teacher dilemma of paper management. Jill Nation, a science teacher at Cathedral City High School, in California, says that “you end up with so many papers all over your desk, and then you hand them back to the students, and they still end up on your floor.” The convenience of being able to access older documents has made classrooms run more efficiently, “If a month from now, we need to revisit photosynthesis, I can say pull out your assignment on photosynthesis, and they can pull out the assignment from Google Drive and work on Kami,” added Ms. Nation.


Together, we have saved over 20,000 trees by opting to go paperless. With over 75 million documents loaded on our app, we have made a significant change by using Kami as a reliable PDF and document viewer with essential tools. Kami enables and encourages a more environmentally conscious classroom with tools that replicate paper-based activities – helping to maintain cost-effectiveness as teachers move from traditional materials to the digital format. Sondgeroth adds, “Everybody produces content in PDF, so teachers are overwhelmed and flooded with PDFs a lot. When that happens, they do not know how they can distribute these things efficiently out to their students. Because a lot of stuff is really good, but they do not want just to print out thousands of pages of papers they use with their kids every day. And so, Kami ties that in by allowing these teachers to bring in the stuff that’s pre-created then put their spin on it.”

Image: Grade 3 students from Gateway Unified School District in California using Kami


Kami is a cloud-based PDF and document annotation app. It is available on the web via and in Google Marketplace: G Suite Apps Marketplace and Google Chrome Web Store with over 7 million installs.

Kami is founded by Hengjie Wang (CEO), Alliv Samson (COO), and Jordan Thoms (CTO). Kami started in 2013 and was previously called Notable PDF, in Auckland, New Zealand while still studying at the University of Auckland. We have recently announced our founding chairman, Bob Drummond, joining the team as Chief Revenue Officer.

Our product innovation, strong community support, and bigger vision for the future attracted notable investor-advisors such as Sam Altman of Y Combinator and Scott Nolan of Founders Fund, as well as Silicon Valley, Australian, and New Zealand angels and venture capitalists.

“As an advisor to the company, I’ve seen Kami grow from first-time entrepreneurs into experts in its field. And as much as any other founders I’ve worked with as an investor, Kami asks the right questions that will drive business success, rapidly internalizes relevant lessons learned from other entrepreneurs, and executes on a global scale from their headquarters in New Zealand”, says Scott Nolan of Founders Fund and Kami investor.

We have raised seed capital and have proven our combination of SaaS and B2B models that further develop and support the product. Kami is free to use with options to upgrade which unlocks more tools as well as enables essential integrations with learning management systems (LMS) and products such as Google Classroom and Google Drive. A teacher can upgrade to a USD 99/year classroom license online, or a decision maker can contact us for a tailored school or district-wide license.


  • Founded in 2013
  • 4 million signed up users
  • 7 million installs in the Google Chrome Web Store and G Suite Apps Marketplace
  • 12,000 K-12 schools use Kami in the United States
  • 75 million documents loaded on Kami


  • 1 million January 2016
  • 2 million October 2016
  • 3 million April 2017
  • 4 million September 2017


  1. Kami web app –
  2. Google Chrome Web Store:
    a. Kami Extension:
    b. Kami App:
  3. G Suite Marketplace –
  4. Google: “10 ways we’re making Classroom and Forms easier for teachers this school year” –
  5. Case Study: Banning High School –
  6. “Kami Welcomes Bob Drummond as Chief Revenue Officer” –
Alliv Samson
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Alliv Samson is Kami Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer. Follow Alliv at @allivsamson