Eduplus: Finnish learning games go global
Eduplus was established in 2011 by four friends; a teacher, a graphic designer, a programmer and a lawyer. These four people combine their skills to create one-of-a-kind learning games for the global market.
"We're exporting Finnish educational expertise at its best. Our products are just as good as the Finnish education system - and that means among the best in the world," says Jere Linnanen, the company's CEO.
Eduplus's Math Ahoy game is already in broad commercial distribution. In autumn 2013, Eduplus signed a major deal with Telefonica, a telecommunications provider operating in Spanish-speaking countries, Spain and Latin America. This agreement will see Eduplus’s flagship product, the Math Ahoy learning game, preinstalled on tablets sold by Telefonica. The game will be installed on 20,000 devices this year and in millions next year. Eduplus is currently negotiating similar agreements with other cooperation partners.
“We will next be setting our sights on the Asian market, which has incredible growth potential. Finland is an outstanding test laboratory for us. If a game is successful in Finnish schools, it can be a success anywhere. However, Finland is such a small market area that we can't make a profitable software product only for the domestic market," explains Linnanen.
A sure-fire market strategy
Eduplus's strategy made it possible to realise the company's goals.
"To begin with, the game could be uploaded from App Store, because we wanted more user experiences and feedback from teaching professionals and researchers. We focused using digital channels to market the game to our target groups. Positive feedback was a key factor in signing this agreement."
According to Linnanen, the number of tablet computers used in schools will grow by nearly one hundred million devices over the next five years. This is the reason why a strategy aimed at preinstallation has proven to be the right one.
One-of-a-kind learning games for digitally skilled global citizens
The Math Ahoy learning game, which was developed as a Tekes project, is intended to support the math education of kindergarten as well as 1st and 2nd year pupils. The child steers a pirate ship along a historic world map by completing addition and subtraction calculations. Learning results improve when the knowledge is applied to problem-solving in a creative manner. The game's appeal is based on allowing the pupil to encounter genuine choices.
In the future, Eduplus will also develop games for other school subjects. The Saarella learning game is currently in the testing phase. This game integrates pupils and groups and was developed in cooperation with the so-called KUUMA municipalities with funding from the National Board of Education.
Tekes funding indispensable
“This success would have been impossible without Tekes. We received funding for product development, in other words, personnel costs. The work has been exceptionally meaningful, because as participants in a Tekes project, we were permitted to do exactly that which we are good at and what we most enjoy,” says Linnanen.
Linnanen praises cooperation with Tekes as seamless and laidback. Tekes was a strong proponent of commercial thinking and created confidence in the success of the product.
"Their message has been encouraging, and Tekes has opened new doors for us - without their help it would have been impossible to bring the first product to market and find new partners. We have now reached our first objective, which was a financially significant agreement. We're also interested in growth, but our real focus is on content. We believe that we can grow by making the world's best content and finding capital investors who share our vision," sums up Linnanen.
jere.linnanen (at) eduplus.fi
+358 50 535 4613
Text: SST / Jenni Elo