With the motive to understand what Finnish experts are working on in the edtech space, we reached out to this Finland edtech startup 'Claned' and got a chance to speak to the Founder & CEO, Mr. Vesa Perä lä in relation to their plans on making a mark in the digital education market. Here's what he has to share with the EdTechReview Community.
What would be an elevator pitch for someone who does not know about your product yet?
Claned helps individual learners and organizations to maximize their learning results. Our product is a digital learning platform powered by artificial intelligence and developed by world-leading Finnish educational experts.
What is your company's core value proposition? What problem are you solving and for whom?
What parts of the globe are you currently seeing traction from? What parts of the world are you planning to expand or market in the near future? What kind of partners are you looking for?
What according to you is the reason that Claned has a 100% pilot to closure ratio?
We have indeed being fortunate to continue with all our commercial pilot customers towards a full implementation in their organizations. There are three main reasons for this: globally unique learning analytics, which combine education psychology theories and machine learning algorithms i.e. artificial inelligence; very social and interactive learning experience; and, according to our customers, the best user experience in digital learning.
Where do you see your company in 12 or 18 months from now?
Our target is to grow our revenue 10x in 2017. We are currently 27 employees and are likely to reach 50 by the end of the year. We have high expectations for Indian market growth together with our partner LyncBiz. Traction is increasing week by week and the outlook is truly positive. The most important goal is to establish Claned as a global leader in learning analytics as well as in social & personal learning. Next major product release in spring 2017 will increase our lead in personalization of learning and we are very much looking forward to introducing the new features to the world soon.
What are your views about the growth of Education Technology industry globally?
EdTech is the next FinTech. It's an enormous global market and the next big industry to be disrupted by digitalization. In my opinion, the disruption will be driven by personally relevant and motivating learning experience, socially engaging learning environment and access to all personal learning on your mobile device. Claned combines these all in one powerful package. The market is picking up in speed and 2017-2018 will be the key years on global level.
Tell us about your team, who do you have supporting you? How did this start?
We are 27 very seasoned professionals and have in average app. 20 years of experience in various disciplines. Our Chief Educational and Data Scientists have PhD's and our CEO, Mrs. Mervi Palander, has been in the EdTech industry since mid-1990's. She started her career at Nokia Corporation where she was setting up the first e-learning activities. Before joining Claned in 2013, she founded and led Future Learning Finland, which is a government driven education export programme in Finland. Founders have raised close to $200 million in venture capital during their careers as entrepreneurs and have 5 previous exits on their belts. Vast experience and global networks characterize the team very well.
We decided to start working on the next generation learning environment in 2011. In September 2011, Mrs. Mervi Palander visited India as part of a Finnish delegation and met e.g. the Minister of Education of India. The Minister was interested in introducing a cloud-based learning solution that is capable of enrolling one million students immediately as well as personalize learning for all of them. Mrs. Palander told him that there is no such solution in the market. During the flight back home to Finland, we decided to start developing such a system. And now we are back in India to deliver on this decision!
Who would you call your competitors? And how are you different?
There are multiple traditional/legacy LMS players such as Moodle, Blackboard and Canvas in the market. They focus mostly on administrative tasks of education institutions whilst Claned is a pure learning solution. For this major difference, some of our customers are implementing Claned in parallel with an existing legacy system. The key difference to any LMS is our combination of artificial intelligence and academically validated pedagogical metrics. This combination enables personalized learning, optimizes study motivation and improves learning results. Our organisational customers get unique insight into how learning happens and how it can be further improved based on measured facts.
What are the biggest challenges for Claned today?
We are in a great position right now. We have great, well-known references such as United Nations, Catholic Education Western Australia, Microsoft, European Olympic Committees, Imperial College and many, many more. Claned is also the platform used for professional training of Finnish teachers in order to equip them with new skills and competencies needed for rolling out the new nationwide curriculum. Our biggest challenge is to grow extremely fast as the digital education market is being disrupted as we speak.