Edtech startup HEI Schools raises €2M in series A funding to bring Finland´s renowned early education model worldwide

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The new financing allows the company to accelerate the growth of the digital offering of curriculum programs and teacher training to reach millions across the globe

Award-winning, research-based early education concept, HEI Schools, has announced that it has completed a €2M Series A round of financing. The financing was co-led by Practica Capital and Tesi, Finnish Industry Investment.

HEI Schools, which was founded 2015 together with the University of Helsinki, one of the world´s top universities in educational sciences, is a pioneer in providing a unique Finnish brand of research-based early education globally. The company is offering a premium learning center concept, an easy-to-use digital curriculum platform and pedagogical tools for educational operators and teachers outside of Finland to use.

Milla Kokko, CEO and Co-founder of HEI Schools says: “This is a great milestone for HEI Schools. The market of early childhood education is developing fast towards a more professional approach: from offering babysitting services to actual early learning. With new investors on board, we can enable this approach to serve more and more families around the world. We are not trying to “export” Finnish society or even the educational system as such, but the deep knowhow and methods about how children learn. Our job is to enable local teachers and center operators to implement the methods in their own culture and environment with great tools and continuing online training.” 

14 HEI Schools learning centers, operated by local entrepreneurs, are open already in China, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Finland. In addition to current markets, 16 new HEI Schools centers are opening during 2021 also in the USA, Canada, Kuwait and Thailand. More than 40 schools are subscribing the digital curriculum model and over 200 teachers from 30 different countries are onboarded at the teacher certificate program.

“HEI Schools’ impressive growth and large customer base of premium learning centres around the world, as well as the fast-growing number of users in digital resources were key proof points of the value of its concept. We’re excited to be part of its growth story in leveraging technology to upskill early years professionals and bring progressive and valuable education to children at their most receptive”, says Arvydas Bložė, Investment Director at Practica Capital.

HEI Schools’ Finnish education model is based on holistic development and wellbeing, without compromising academic skills. The idea that learning is not limited to a classroom plays a vital role in children’s strengths, interests, social interactions and peer relationships. Paying close attention to children’s social-emotional, physical, creative and cognitive growth, the HEI Schools curriculum supports children to be active agents in their own learning and development so that they learn to love learning.

“The market opportunity for HEI Schools is to bring its resources to millions through digital growth. We are very happy to be part of this financing round which enables HEI Schools to scale its offering globally even further. We share the same ambition with the HEI Schools team and Practica Capital of creating a world-class company out of Finland, while driving significant positive impact through wider access to high quality early education”, tells Juha Lehtola, Director of VC Investments at Tesi.

A mission-driven company, HEI Schools strives to provide the most current, research-based early education curriculum to children all over the world in order to give them the highest-quality education possible. Lasse Lipponen, co-founder of HEI Schools and Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Helsinki, concludes: “Childhood is a period of life when everything is possible. It is a period full of learning opportunities and when all the core developmental changes take place. At HEI Schools, it is our mission and commitment to support every child to reach his or her full potential – without limits and without excuses.”

 

 

Facts about HEI Schools:

Headquarters: In Helsinki, team of 20

Number of centers right now: 14

Expected number of centers by the end of 2021: 30

Current markets: China, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Finland

New markets opening 2021: USA, Canada, Kuwait, Thailand

Revenue 2020: €1.3M

Realised funding round 2021: €2M

New investors: Practica Capital and Tesi

Other shareholders: University of Helsinki, founders, private investors

Awards:

Fast Company:  WORLD CHANGING IDEAS

HundrEd Innovations: TOP 100 GLOBAL EDUCATION INNOVATOR 2019, 2020, 2021

Creative Design Awards: BEST PRODUCT, BEST SERVICE & GRAND PRIX

 

Additional information:

Milla Kokko, CEO, HEI Schools
milla.kokko@heischools.com
+358 40 8600 277

Juha Lehtola, Director, Venture Capital, Tesi
juha.lehtola@tesi.fi
+358 400 647 671

 

Founded in 2011, Practica Capital is a dedicated Baltic VC focusing on investments in the Baltic Sea region. The company invests in seed, late seed and Series A ventures backing great teams behind the tech-driven businesses from the region and partnering with them as company builders. Practica Capital manages three venture capital funds with a total size of more than €50M. Of which the latest Practica Venture Capital II Fund was established in the framework of the financial instrument “Development Fund I” which is managed by Invega and financed from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). To date, Practica Capital has made more than 55 investments. practica.vc

Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) is a state-owned investment company that wants to raise Finland to the front ranks of transformative economic growth by investing in funds and directly in companies. We invest profitably and responsibly, hand-in-hand with co-investors, to create the world’s new success stories. Our investments under management total 1.9 billion euros.– www.tesi.fi | @TesiFII