HomeAcquisitionsItalian-founded Talent Garden acquires Sweden-based Hyper Island with goal to become Europe's...

Italian-founded Talent Garden acquires Sweden-based Hyper Island with goal to become Europe’s leading edtech company

With the mission to give as many people as possible the chance to learn and boost their professional development, Talent Garden has acquired Hyper Island and with vision to become Europe’s leading digital education provider. This new deal will address the digital skills gap across Europe, creating programmes at 20 different campuses and online for more than 20,000 students and professionals every year. 

The global digital education market has been booming since the pandemic and is set to grow from €7.4 billion in 2020 to €29 billion by 2025, resulting from a mismatch between the skills that companies require and the current market situation. The pandemic also spurred an opportunity for digital education to expand its reach, and Talent Garden has certainly been able to take advantage of this situation.

We talked to Talent Garden CEO and co-founder Davide Dattoli last year and he shared his vision for how digital education is here to stay after growing in popularity during a time of lockdowns and enforced distance learning and working:

“When the emergency is over, we will want to continue to be flexible: to connect from the sea and the mountains. And we certainly won’t miss meetings that were postponed for months to coincide with agendas or intercontinental travel for a few hours. The greater flexibility we have experienced during the lockdown is something beautiful that will stay with us.” 

The new merger just agreed certainly gives credence to this view.

According to the study The Future of Jobs 2020, by 2025, up to 85 million jobs will be affected by human-machine task sharing, while 97 million new jobs could emerge. As a direct effect of this scenario, corporations will need to manage the reskilling of 50% of their employees over the next few years.

Set against this backdrop of massive market potential, Talent Garden and Hyper Island have both established a solid track record in the education sector. This partnership gives a significant boost to a European commitment to digital education.

Operating in Italy since 2011, founded in Brescia near Milan, Talent Garden is a renowned player in the digital coworking sector, focusing principally on networking and skills development. The company has been growing considerably in the digital education market recently, providing services to students, professionals and large European companies. This deal further reinforces its focus on digital education, accounting for 80% of its business. 

Headquartered in Sweden but with a global presence operating in Europe, Asia-Pacific, North and South America, Hyper Island is a  business school specialising in digital education with a range of accredited, part-time and full-time educational programmes. It targets students and executives of large companies and designs its programmes to provide training that increases knowledge of digital culture and transformation technologies.

The deal just announced –  and due to be finalised in December – will see Talent Garden acquire a controlling stake in Hyper Island, with the aim of creating a European edtech alliance that will involve other European digital schools in the future. 

The partnership between Talent Garden and Hyper Island will result in a group with a solid geographical footprint in Europe with a physical presence in 12 countries (eight already served by Talent Garden and four by Hyper Island), a strong position in the strategic Nordics area (Sweden and Denmark), South Europe (Spain, Italy and Austria) and UK & Ireland (London, Dublin and Manchester) and strategic establishments through Hyper Island in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Talent Garden and Hyper Island will jointly employ a team of 250 professionals and hundreds of closely collaborating speakers, facilitators and trainers across three continents. 

​​Davide Dattoli, Talent Garden’s Co-Founder and Executive President, said: “Digital Education is the great social and economic challenge of our century. From the outset, we have focused on the value of community, viewing digital training as the way of creating new talent and helping companies face digital transformation. Today, through joining forces with Hyper Island, our project is making a new leap forward. In such an important but fragmented market, we are readier as ever before to act as aggregators and game-changers.”

The scale of the new edtech player confirms its leadership in the sector – with expected revenues of €50 million in 2022, 20,000 professionals trained a year, 5,000 students placed on the job market with a 98% placement rate and more than 4,500 start-ups and digital innovators as teachers and community members.

To continue the vision of making digital education accessible for everyone, the comprehensive training offering will be broken down into three main categories; 

  • Business-to-Consumer: training courses for the digital working world and professional learning for students and professionals; 
  • Business-to-Business: training programmes for the digitalisation of large companies with upskilling and reskilling programmes; 
  • Business-to-Government: professional training courses subsidised by governments to refresh the skills of citizens and workers.

This fresh collaboration brings together the communities of two digital innovators in Europe, providing an exciting offer to the education market, and addressing the digital skills gap in Europe. The result is extremely positive news for the entire European community and big news for startups and enterprises across the continent and will give people new opportunities to progress and enter the careers they aspire towards. 

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Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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