Learning to go global

2020 was a turbulent year for many of us – not least for EdTech company Haldor in Sundsvall. When schools all over the world started closing, a sudden increase in demand for remote learning tools came about and these are exactly what Haldor develops. Now, CEO Sara Zetterberg and her team are getting ready for the next step.

Haldor, founded in 2015, develops and sells user-friendly educational tools for education at all levels. It all started at school, where one of Haldor’s founders saw a huge gap in the market for digital tools.

“Teachers were communicating with students via Facebook, which is a bad idea in so many ways,” says Sara Zetterberg, CEO, who has a background as an innovation advisor.

It was based on this finding that the company was founded and the product Haldor Education was developed to facilitate the everyday digital life of both teachers and students. Their main customers are muni-
cipalities and independent schools, and they can choose between different modules for planning, assessment, contact with parents/guardians and much more. Everything is fully integrated with Microsoft Teams and the various modules can be easily added – much like apps can be added to a mobile phone.

“A lot of our competitors come from the administrative side of schooling. Our background lets us see things more easily from teachers’ and students’ perspectives.”

A number of clear milestones along the way prepared Haldor for the eventful year known as 2020. One of them was back in 2017 when Haldor decided to focus entirely on Microsoft Teams. With this decision has come a clear objective – to be the best in a single system. Another was in 2018 when they decided to invest in an external chairperson for their board. The same year, Haldor was named as Microsoft’s “Partner of the Year”, which was confirmation that they had made the right decision.

“That a little start up from Sundsvall in northern Sweden could manage that – when we were up against established companies in the industry – that was a big deal for us for sure. Microsoft saw that we had something that the others didn’t have – a higher level of innovation and implementation of customer solutions in their products.”

Right before the pandemic hit, Haldor strengthened their team with a sales and partnership manager. With closed high schools and the threat of primary schools following suit, more and more schools started using Microsoft Teams to work together. This led to an explosion in interest for Haldor’s tools and just in the spring of 2020 they signed up 50 new accounts, which more than doubled their client base.

Sundsvall is not only home to Haldor’s head office, but also Mid Sweden University and its IT department. The team of twelve, however, is spread out all over Sweden. Remote working is a part of the core of the business, and Haldor practices what it preaches.

“We have never met some of our customers in real life. That might sound a bit strange but it isn’t unusual in this branch,” says Zetterberg with a laugh.

2021 will be the year that Haldor starts to move into the international market. In part Norway, where they already have an established client base, but also the UK and the Netherlands: two countries where both the school system and the language will allow a straightforward establishment. They are also aiming to raise more capital.

“So far we have been working with seed money as it is called in the investment world. But now we are considering
doing the big A-round so we can upscale our software-as-a-service product range to reach the global market.”

More portraits

Where green expertise thrives

Read Company portrait

A forever home in the High Coast

Read Portrait
The Resele family

The circle of life at Agtira

Read Company portrait