Nordic EdTech News #64: 2022-04-19
Your Weeks 14 & 15 update from the Nordic and Baltic EdTech ecosystem
Hello, good morning and welcome to today’s Nordic EdTech News. I hope that everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Easter break!
I’ve pressed send on this email with a degree of trepidation, given that two significant funding rounds have been announced just as the last two newsletters hit subscriber inboxes! First Funzi's €3million funding round (Link) was announced just after NEN #62 went out and then Labster announced their latest $47 million mega-round when I hit publish on NEN #63 (Link)!
But seriously, this is brilliant news for the Danish EdTech and the wider Nordic ecosystem. The new round is led by Sofina Group and Pirate Impact and brings the total raised by the company to $147m. Labster aims to “power up science education across the world” and will use the investment to target more schools and universities across Europe and the US as well as expanding into Asia and Latin America. As Matthew Tower commented, the “ands” are significant because chasing all of these markets is “key to understanding both the amount of capital raised and the implied valuation.”
In addition to the new funding, Labster has also announced plans to beef up their research base (Link). This research will help schools using their products to evidence that they meet the requirement of the US Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Importantly, this move maps closely to the recent call from the influential Jacobs Foundation that “evidence needs to be at the heart of the $300 billion global EdTech industry.”
It’s also been a significant two weeks for Skolon, the Swedish EdTech company with an online platform for digital school tools and teaching materials. Last week, the business announced its intention to list shares on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market as well as issuing new shares worth approximately SEK 30 million (Link). Nine investors (including Entreprenörinvest Sverige AB) have already committed to backing just over half of the offer.
Skolon has also confirmed an agreement with leading Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm to include and resell their digital resources on the platform (Link). A deal (Link) has also been concluded with Kahoot! to enable education customers to “buy and use Kahoot! tools on the Skolon platform internationally.”
Whilst on Kahoot!, it has climbed to 6th position in the first part of the 2021 / 2022 US EdTech Top 40 survey (Link). This list analyses the “digital tools accessed by the most students and educators across the United States via the internet.” Three other key stats to note: US K12 students accessed 74 EdTech tools on average; teachers accessed 86 different tools and 8 of the top 10 products are Google-owned.
In other Big Tech news, it’s great to see Kide Science partnering with DreamWorks Animation and its hit Netflix series, Gabby’s Dollhouse (Link). The agreement will “give young scientists themed lesson plans to encourage playful, engaging and inquiry-based learning.” And to get a detailed background on Kide Science, watch this episode of European Startup Universe Talks with Sari Hurme-Mehtälä, their Co-Founder and CEO (Link).
Do check out this forthcoming Nordic Conference for Educational Publishers and EdTech to be hosted in Oslo this September. It’s organised by the Norwegian Publishers’ Association and IKT Norge with a focus on “textbooks, teaching and learning materials.”
Whilst on events, I’m delighted to be moderating sessions on scaling international growth and the use of AR/VR in education at the EdTechX Summit 2022 (23rd June in London). They feature brilliant speakers from GoStudent and Ludenso (more to be confirmed). You can get 40% off your ticket by booking now and using the promo code - ETX22SPEAKER40. This is the link for full event details and to book your place!
If you’re an educator and are looking for new digital tools that could make your life in the classroom better / easier, then do check out the Academic Software Demo Day programme. These free webinars are delivered by experts on key apps, learning platforms and software for teaching. Register for free here.
And finally, if you read this newsletter for Nordic EdTech analysis and insight, you may be interested to know that I also offer advisory and consultancy services. Want to find out how I could help you or your business? Let’s talk.
All best regards, Jonathan
News from Denmark
From next year, there will be no requirement for primary and lower secondary schools to have a learning platform. (Link)
The Reform Commission argues the case for a national strategy for digital teaching materials in higher education. (Link)
News from Estonia
How Estonia builds tech talent - “even kindergartens teach robotics.” (Link)
News from Finland
News from Iceland
Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Higher Education, Industry and Innovation, will be giving the government’s view on education, science and innovation at Startup Iceland and Iceland Innovation Week.
News from Latvia
Nearly 50,000 courses and 5 million activities have been added to the skolo.lv platform since launch in Autumn 2021.
News from Lithuania
Recording of recent Future Teachers Forum event (in Lithuanian).
News from Norway
Grants available for “translation and development of educational kindergarten materials and teaching aids in Ukrainian.” (Link)
The Norwegian government tightens the rules around private and vocational schools. (Link)
“Give the students the textbook back.” (Link)
IKT Norge argues that a new digital strategy for schools will “strengthen the digital infrastructure and create a school day based on digital competence.” (Link)
The "Kobling – se, gjør og forstå" project provides extra digital resources and support across STEM subjects for students with learning challenges. (Link)
News from Sweden
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