EdTech Report 2022: The Finnish EdTech today and tomorrow – an industry set for growth

Startup-conference Slush in Helsinki
Slush 2015 November 11-12th Helsinki, Finland Photo: Jussi Hellsten www.jussihellsten.com www.facebook.com/jussihellsten

The newly released Finnish EdTech Report 2022 presents and analyzes the growing ecosystem of Finnish EdTech companies and actors. The report presents the most important factors for enabling the growth of the sector and its companies from the perspective of both startups and investors. EdTech is one of the central industries building the future identified by Helsinki and this report is one way to make visible and monitor the ongoing development.

“Helsinki Education Hub strives for the most concrete impact possible on education technology growth companies on their journey from idea to internationalization. With this report, we want to make its findings and data available for various parties to study and use,” says Mia-Stiina Heikkala, Lead Advisor at Helsinki Education Hub.

The report offers an overview of the size, turnover, customer segments, business plan and goals of Finnish EdTech companies. Additional data is gathered of the local industry ecosystem and different ways to support businesses. Further, the contents include insights from the perspective of growing investments and strategic goals on both city- and nationwide level. The report is commissioned by Helsinki Education Hub and conducted by EdTech Finland.

Education technology is a young sector growing in business-driven ways

For the time being, many education technology companies in Finland are still clearly at their early stages. More than half of the companies in the sector have been established after 2015, and the trend in the sector was strongly rising before the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the focus on early stages, the majority of companies in the sector are still small startups with fewer than 20 employees. However, the growth of the sector has been significant by all indicators, and the total turnover of companies increased by 21 percentage points between 2019 and 2020. In 2020, the turnover of the sector totaled €176 million. A survey aimed at companies revealed that half of the respondents also planned to accelerate their growth during 2022. On average, the funding collected by companies in the field of education technology is approximately €1.6 million, and two-thirds of the respondents planned to raise funding in 2022.

“It has already been noticed that it is early-stage companies that need the most support. This is why Helsinki Education Hub serves as a leading path for teams and startups from the idea stage onwards. Comprehensive business support and extensive networks enable us to support growth companies in building a team and finding funding, for instance. In the end, everything is primarily aimed at the scaling and internationalization of companies,” Heikkala explains.

On a global scale, according to data by HolonIQ, the value of EdTech Venture Funding has tripled from the pre-pandemic era to year 2021. Notably, the strongest growth has been in the value of American and European investments, whilst the Chinese funding have decreased.

The foundations for growth are set

Finland is known worldwide as a top country in education. However, it has been difficult in the past to commercialize the education more widely and export it to international markets. The evolving education technology sector has been willing to meet the challenge, and new companies have been established to fill the missing pieces of the ecosystem. In Helsinki, the education technology ecosystem now provides services to companies along their entire development path. Among other things, the services consist of a pre-incubator, acceleration services, an industry association, a private equity fund, events and communities. In addition, the public sector supports the EdTech industry on a governmental level through Education Finland and on a municipal level through Helsinki Education Hub.

The Finnish startup ecosystem, especially in Helsinki, has developed into an internationally identified phenomena that also attracts growing numbers of talent and companies. For example, the EdTech Incubator Helsinki and Health Incubator Helsinki, have accepted international teams to their programs.

“Helsinki has an open and confidential atmosphere for entrepreneurship. EdTech and Helsinki Education Hub are strongly international, and our incubator program offers a concrete opportunity for international teams and startups to settle in Helsinki and become part of an active and ever-growing community,” Heikkala summarizes.

Helsinki is a strong pioneer in EdTech

The City of Helsinki wants to support the competitiveness of companies and serve as a setting for developing business that solves globally relevant problems. In order to achieve this goal, the city also invests more and more in supporting the innovation activities of companies. The City of Helsinki provides companies with comprehensive business management services, events and an internationally unique experimental environment in the form of Testbed Helsinki. The aim is to make the whole city a testbed for innovative business.

Together with Finland’s national goals in the digitalization of education and focus on lifelong learning, the aim is to make Finland and Helsinki a unique environment for promoting the education technology sector, attracting experts, and exporting solutions.

For more information:

Mia-Stiina Heikkala,Lead Advisor, tel. +358 9 3102 7035, mia-stiina.heikkala@hel.fi

Ville Bengs, Communication and Marketing Specialist, tel. +358 40 571 5922 ville.bengs@hel.fi