It is estimated that the worker shortage will cost businesses worldwide €8 trillion by 2030. As a result, the amount skilled migrants relocating to the EU will surge by 134% during the same period.
But attracting talent is only half the battle—retention is the real challenge. A study finds that 6 out of 10 international employees concur that mastering the local language is the most vital skill for success in their new workplace, and as a result, plays a key role in the retention of highly skilled migrants.
Through its blended learning platform Swap Language, a Danish-based enterprise language training provider, aims to tackle this problem by helping international employees integrate and feel an increased sense of belonging within their organization and in their new home.
Today, the company announced the completion of their €2 million Seed round, led together by Amsterdam-based Mediahuis Ventures and Helsinki-based Sparkmind.vc. The fresh funding will be used to expand into the German market where the initial pilots are already taking place, to add more languages and to start building towards Swap Language’s vision of a full-blown AI teacher that can replace humans in teaching both speaking and writing skills.
“Highly skilled international employees are ambitious and work for the highest paced, demanding enterprises. They need solutions which are flexible, engaging, and which use the newest technology to help them develop language skills that they can apply both in their jobs and while settling in their new host country. While the B2C market has some amazing players like Duolingo, the B2B language training market is old and dominated by traditional language schools” says Nichlas, CEO of Swap Language.
Swap Language uses a combination of engaging video content, AI-generated exercises, and real-life online speaking lessons to help international employees reach fluency in and outside the workplace. Built on multi-tenant architecture, Swap Language’s newly launched second generation platform is the first freemium enterprise language training platform in the market. The platform enables companies to onboard international employees onto their language learning community at no cost, giving them direct access to hundreds of free on-demand language lessons and quizzes as well as the possibility to practice with local colleagues.
Tea Elezi, EdTech Lead at Mediahuis Ventures:
“We are proud to support Swap Language on their mission to make language learning within organizations more inclusive, efficient, and adaptable, ultimately fostering a global community where language is no longer a barrier but a bridge to success. Swap Language not only addresses a critical need for international employees to feel a sense of belonging within organizations, but it also does so with an effective blended approach that combines human interaction with cutting-edge AI, which is key to accelerating language acquisition in a manner that's not only efficient but also deeply engaging. The company’s vision is to fully automate language learning, ushering in a new era of flexibility and accessibility. By harnessing the power of AI teachers, Swap Language is poised to revolutionize the way people acquire language skills, empowering them to connect and integrate seamlessly into their professional and social environments.”
Vesa Laakso, Founding Partner of Sparkmind.vc:
"We're excited about truly transformative educational technologies, and Swap Language caught our attention because their mission driven founding team and solution crafted with a deep understanding of global workforce challenges. Their thought-out content and innovative approach to merge virtual and real worlds of language acquisition sets a new standard for enterprise language training. We believe that their unique vision for fostering genuine human connections through language will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of international workplaces. It's an investment in not just a company, but a brighter, interconnected global community."
About Mediahuis Ventures
Mediahuis Ventures (MHV) is the Venture Capital arm of international media group Mediahuis. As a lead investor in European companies between Series Seed & Series B, MHV is on a mission to support founders who are changing the way we learn and work by investing in companies that make the flow of information more effective, accessible and empowering. Their portfolio includes EdTech & Future of Work companies such as Lepaya, Perlego, Tomorrow’s University and Settly.
Sparkmind.vc is the first Nordic venture capital company exclusively focused on the learning sector. The company invests from Pre-Seed to Series A stages in teams transforming how the world learns. Its investments are focused on solutions that improve learning outcomes, increase access and efficiency of learning or use data insight to better support educators and learners. Since the launch of their first fund in 2020, Sparkmind has invested in more than 20 companies, including Kide Science, Fuzu, Oneday and Female Invest.