Finnish edtech startup nets $1.6 mln seed

TeacherGaming, a Finnish educational tech startup, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding. Makers Fund led the round.


● Finnish TeacherGaming, an educational technology start-up bringing blockbuster games to classrooms has secured $1.6M seed funding

● Founded in 2015 by CEO Santeri Koivisto, CTO Aleksi Postari and COO Mikael Uusi-Mäkelä, the team has developed educational versions of global phenomenon Minecraft and NASA-endorsed Kerbal Space Program

● Cash injection will support sales and marketing efforts for the company’s new educational gaming subscription service for schools

● Makers Fund, a venture capital firm specializing in the global interactive entertainment industry, led the round.

The team behind classroom gaming phenomenon MinecraftEdu has raised $1.6M in seed funding from Makers Fund, alongside Founders Factory and high net worth angel investors.

TeacherGaming helps educators elevate their teaching and engage their students in new ways, pairing games children already know and love with powerful pedagogical tools and analytics. Their online subscription service, TeacherGaming Desk, offers teachers 30+ mainstream games that can help teach topics from orbital physics to touch typing.

Funds raised will be used to support the company’s sales and marketing efforts and fuel co-creation programmes and pilot schemes with schools around the world.

TeacherGaming is based in Tampere, Finland, and was founded in 2015 by former teacher and CEO Santeri Koivisto, CTO Aleksi Postari and COO Mikael Uusi-Mäkelä. Earlier that year, the founding team passed their MinecraftEdu project on to Microsoft in a seven-figure deal.

TeacherGaming is currently working with thirty independent game developers and publishers in their efforts to bridge the worlds of entertainment and education, including publishing giant Take-Two, Universe Sandbox ² developers Giant Army, and Epistory studio Fishing Cactus. Globally, the games on their platform have a combined player base of over 100 million people.
Santeri Koivisto, CEO and Co-Founder, said:

“Games have infinite potential to influence our youth. They happily spend much of their free time playing games that they might not even realize are teaching them about the world, so why not help educators take advantage of that too? The content is all there – all they need are some tools to help them utilize it efficiently. With the help of our investors, we are now much better equipped to bring the best games in the world to schools on a global scale.”

Michael Cheung, Partner at Makers Fund, said:
“The team at TeacherGaming is one of the most accomplished and knowledgeable teams in making learning fun. With their experience in education and partnerships with top publishers, we believe TeacherGaming will grow to be the leading educational games platform.”

Since going to market in July 2017, over 3500 educators from 84 countries have signed up to use TeacherGaming Desk. Co-creation programs are currently being organized in New York, Hong Kong and Finland. In India, TeacherGaming is collaborating with the government on statewide game-based learning projects relating to smart city planning and unmanned space missions. TeacherGaming is also a recent graduate of Founders Factory’s edtech accelerator programme.

About TeacherGaming
TeacherGaming is a Finnish educational technology brand that aims to elevate teaching and learning by harnessing the power of blockbuster games in the classroom. TeacherGaming Desk, the company’s subscription service platform, combines hit games children know and love with ready-made lesson plans and curriculum-aligned learning analytics. The Desk gives teachers the right tools to embrace game-based learning in their classrooms without requiring previous skill or experience in gaming. A beta version of the service was launched in July 2017, and over 3500 teachers and institutions around the world are currently using it.