2020 Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50. Where are they now?

How are Nordic-Baltic’s Top 50 EdTech Startups of 2020 performing and where are they now?

Education Intelligence Unit

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August 8, 2021

In August 2020, HolonIQ announced the Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50 — a list of the 50 most promising EdTech startups headquartered in the Nordic-Baltic region. As we open applications for our annual Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50, we take a look at where the 2020 cohort are now.

The regional collaboration format of the Nordic-Baltic eight (NB8) brings together five Nordic and three Baltic countries – Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This well-established regional ecosystem also supports cooperation for EdTech in addition to strong national bodies. The region is globally recognised for leading in pedagogy, innovation and education systems and the 2020 Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50 recognises and celebrates those teams based in the region who are supporting education innovation and impact.

The Annual Nordic & Baltic EdTech 50 is focused on identifying young, fast growing and innovative learning and up-skilling start-ups based in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,. To be eligible, startups are generally less than 10 years old (though there are some exceptions), are either headquartered in Nordic-Baltic countries, or predominately focused on the market (e.g. > 80% revenue/customers, are pre exit (not acquired or listed) and not a subsidiary of a larger company or controlled by an investor group (e.g. via private equity buyout or controlling investment).

Governments, institutions, investors, schools and educators, influencers and talent leaders from across the region and around the world look to HolonIQ’s Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50 to better understand the dynamics of innovation in the market and the teams who are making a difference in education outcomes.

NB 50

HolonIQ's Scoring Fingerprint

Powered by data and insights from the HolonIQ Global Intelligence Platform and local market experts, EdTech companies in the region are assessed using our proprietary scoring engine and following HolonIQ’s startup scoring rubric. Our normalization algorithm ensures that individual scoring bias is eliminated to create an equitable baseline and allows experts to review their own ‘scoring fingerprint’ relative to other experts. HolonIQ’s startup scoring rubric covers the following dimensions:

Market. The quality and relative attractiveness of the specific market in which the company competes.
Product. The quality and uniqueness of the product itself.
Team. The expertise and diversity of the team.
Capital. The financial health of the company and in particular its ability to generate or secure sufficient funding.
Momentum. Positive changes in the size and velocity of the company over time.

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Where are they now?

Startups in the 2020 Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50 have collectively raised over USD $120M since the list was announced less than a year ago. Those based in Sweden were particularly active with Kognity, raising $20m, AI upskilling solution, Sana Labs, raising an $18M Series A, Lexplore ($6m) and Dugga ($5m) also raising solid rounds, while early stage coding for girls startup, Imagilabs secured pre-seed funding. Danish virtual science lab solution Labster raised $60M as it grows rapidly into international markets and, also based in Denmark, CanopyLAB, raised $3m for its AI powered social learning platform. AR based learning platform, 3DBear raised $6.8m, interactive coding bootcamp, Scrimba raised a pre-seed rounds and 99Math raised $1m in early August. Lund-based maths app for young kids, Akribian, raised $1.5M and music app Mussila also raised $600k. Strawbees, STEAM kits made from straws also raised a $900k for global expansion and Hopspots received Innobooster funding.

With significant challenges to the education system brought about by a global pandemic, we have seen EdTech startups in the Nordic-Baltic region, with their strong focus on pedagogy and learning, step onto the global stage as they support a growing global customer base. Startups in the 2020 Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50 such as Kide Science, Mightifier, New Nordic School, 99Math, Claned, Funzi and many more have built global audiences, customers and partnerships  over the last year from Europe to Latin America and Southeast Asia, highlighting the strong reputation of education innovation in the Nordic-Baltic region.

Recognition, Acquisitions and Growth Activities

From last year’s list, game-based language learning app, Drops was acquired by another Nordic giant, Kahoot! for $50m as the social learning platform expands its reach into language learning and Danish startup CanopyLAB acquired Peruvian publishing startup YoPublico to serve its rapidly expanding user base in Latin America. Startups from the 2021 Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50 have been running hard over the last year to keep up with demand, build new products, enter new markets and form new partnerships as digital learning became instantly mainstream. In the K12 space, we’re seeing tech giants and education giants increasing integrate EdTech into their platforms as schools the world over embrace digital. In the Nordics, Kognity integrated with Google classroom allowing students to view and submit Kognity assignments directly in Google Classroom. Similarly, Hypocampus partnered with Northern Europe’s largest education group, Academedia, to offer their upper secondary schools a unified platform. Also top of mind in K12 is the mental health and wellness of students, with Finnish kids wellness platform, Mightifier, creating micro SEL materials, launching into Mexico and further into the US market. Inspera was awarded the contract to provide digital exam solutions to all Swedish universities.

Through the last year a number of startups from the 2020 Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50 were recognised for their innovation, growth and impact, including GraphoGame, CanopyLAB, BitDegree, Sana Labs, Lingvist, Mussila, Dugga, School Day and FourFerries.

Register for the 2021 Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50 launch webinar to learn more about the 2020 cohort and of course, be the first to know the 50 companies selected as part of the 2021 Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50.


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