Generative AI Education Startup Loora Raises $9.25M
Generative AI education startup Loora has raised $9.25 million in a seed funding round led by Emerge. Loora’s voice-based English teacher app employs generative AI to engage in conversation with the user, mimicking a human tutor in expanding and correcting their linguistic skills.
Loora has been developing its iOS app in stealth since 2020, with an Android app in the works. Users can discuss any subject with the AI and get feedback on their word choice, syntax, accents, and other speech elements. There is a mix of large language models underlying Loora’s app, fine-tuned and trained on the startup’s data. The app processes what a user says with a speech-to-text model and picks the LLM to respond depending on the topic or conversational style. Loora then translates the response back into speech.
The Israeli startup claims to already have several thousand subscribers, 71% of whom have signed up for professional reasons. The generative AI English tutor costs $15 a month or $120 a year, which is a lot less than a full-time human tutor, though with the trade-offs that AI entails. The company claims there are roughly a billion people learning English worldwide, so the potential user base is enormous.
“English is the lingua franca of today’s globalized world, and without mastery of the language, professional success can be an uphill battle. Yet, most people still lack access to affordable and impactful English learning solutions,” Loora CEO Roy Mor said. “While generative AI has immense potential to help people practice their language skills, not all AI is created equal. Our conversational AI was created and optimized specifically to enable people to access more opportunities by equipping them with the English skills they need to thrive.”
Loora isn’t alone in integrating generative AI into education, including language learning. For instance, OpenAI and Duolingo have partnered to produce generative AI features for the language education app. Subscribers to Duolingo Max get access to the Explain My Answer tool, which offers AI-generated explanations for wrong quiz answers, as well as the Roleplay feature for practicing conversations with a generative AI chatbot. That said, Loora does seem to have jumped ahead in replicating the specific experience of speaking vocally with a human tutor.