Discover more from Nordic EdTech News
Nordic EdTech News #87: 2023-04-24
Your Weeks 14 - 16 update from the Nordic and Baltic EdTech ecosystem
Nordic EdTech News is the best way to keep up with the EdTech ecosystem across 8 Nordic and Baltic countries. I curate it from company updates and a wide variety of international sources. It’s a passion project of mine - the rest of my time is spent advising / consulting the companies who lead the future of learning. If you’d like to find out more, drop me an email.
Hello and welcome to today’s Nordic EdTech News. It’s been a busy 3 weeks since the last newsletter, particularly following events in Denmark (Lærfest), Finland (ITK) and Sweden (SETT). There’s lots of news to cover, so let’s get straight to it!
Although there’s lots of interesting updates below, it’s also evident that times are tough across our ecosystem. It’s clear from talking to many companies over the last few weeks that markets are increasingly overcrowded, customer acquisition costs remain high, sales cycles are frustratingly long and growth is slow. Access to finance is also getting even more challenging. In fact, HolonIQ recently reported that VC investment in EdTech is down 80% on Q1 2022 and down 83% from 2021’s record high.
So news that LMS365, a previously-bootstrapped Danish learning management system for corporates, has raised DKK 135 million ($20 million) is a real game changer (Link). LMS365 is the only platform with a MS Teams native solution and currently has over 1 million users. In 2022, the company’s ARR was DKK 135 million (USD 20 million) but the investment aims to accelerate that through international growth.
HolonIQ’s report also highlights that large incumbent players continue to acquire international assets. The latest Nordic example of this is the Keystone Education Group (HQ’d in Oslo) which has expanded its European reach through the acquisition of studddy, the German online student search and discovery business (Link). According to CEO Fredrik Högemark, the move improves Keystone’s “service as a provider of end-to-end enrollment generation solutions for the global market. “
The third major trend that’s been much in evidence in the last three weeks is the continued influence of government intervention in EdTech markets. Last week, the Norwegian government and KS unveiled a new strategy for digitization in kindergartens and schools (Link). Tonje Brenna, Minister of Education, confirmed that the plan will “strengthen the digital foundation in Norwegian education and increase the quality of the way we use technology.” A public overview of available digital teaching aids will also be conducted to make it easier for schools to purchase. A new committee will also help the government to better understand the impact of children's screen use (Link).
The Guidelines for digitization of education and training 2027 recently published by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture specifically prioritise the use of digital tools. The objectives are clear: “Finland wants to be a leading developer and user of sustainable digitalization in education, teaching and training.” Digitalization, the guidelines say, will support “equal opportunities for high-quality learning and skill development.”
In Sweden, the Swedish Edtech Industry has formally responded to Skolverket’s proposed digitalisation strategy. CEO Jannie Jeppesen argues that i) there must be equal access to digital learning resources and teaching aids in Swedish schools and ii) an investment in teachers' skills is also needed.
I was delighted to contribute to the Swedish Edtech Industry’s Annual report, which is being launched this Thursday (27 April). It will be run as a hybrid event and includes a great panel looking at themes around digital competence and skills. Sign up here.
And finally, it’s great to see Praktikal (Estonia) and Turing College (Lithuania) included in Sifted’s recent round-up of Baltic startups to watch.
Sharing this email with your network is also always much appreciated!
Many thanks, Jonathan
News from Denmark
Mattias Tesfaye, Denmark’s Minister of Education, has begun to draw up guidelines for the use of generative AI tools in Danish education. (Link)
MIT Technology Review reports that “Teachers in Denmark are using apps to audit their students’ moods.”
Suppliers on the SKI framework agreement for digital teaching aids do not believe it has increased competition as intended. (Link)
News from Estonia
If you’re going to Latitude59, check out this EdTech Lunch with Dr Barbara Kurshan on 25th April. (Link)
Congrats to EdTech Estonia as its 50th member joins (Link). They are also co-organising the African Business Forum in Tallinn next month and are looking for more EdTechs, universities and stakeholders to get involved (Link).
News from Finland
The Finnish Ministry of Education launched a new portal to support the learning and teaching of Finnish and Swedish, the recognised national languages. (Link)
DigiOne, the nationwide digital learning platform, is accelerating the development of commercial EdTech services. (Link)
The deadline to join the next cohort at Helsinki EdTech Incubator is 30th April, so get your applications in now! Details here.
News from Iceland
News from Latvia
A €11 million investment has been announced to provide laptops and computing equipment to low income and disadvantaged students. (Link)
News from Lithuania
New opportunity announced for teachers to develop their key digital skills. (Link)
Good to see plans coming together to create a “specialised, international” EdTech accelerator in Lithuania. (Link)
The edON Digital Skills Academy officially opens, offering training courses across a range of in-demand skills (Link). There’s more from Domas Janickas, edON Co-founder in last week’s Tech Philomaths newsletter.
News from Norway
Nearly 3 years after the new Norwegian curriculum was launched, 60% of grunnskoler still don’t have new, relevant learning materials. (Link)
News from Sweden
New Skolverket research shows that students who are familiar with digital formats read just as well on a screen as on paper. (Link)
Thanks for reading this newsletter. If you think that your colleagues and wider network would find it useful, please share it with them!