Ello, World’s Most Advanced AI Reading Coach, Raises $15M Series A
Ello Aims to Eradicate Illiteracy with AI-Powered 1:1 Reading Coach, Making Learning to Read Easier, More Fun and More Accessible for All Children
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ello, developer of the world’s most advanced AI reading coach, announced today that it has secured its Series A funding. Leading Ello’s $15M Series A is Goodwater Capital, with major participation from Homebrew (returning investors), Reed Hastings, Common Sense Growth, and Ravensburger. This adds to existing funding led by Project A with additional investors Y Combinator, WndrCo, Reach Capital, Visible Ventures, and Khosla Ventures. Coddy Johnson from Goodwater and Anton Waitz from Project A Ventures have joined the board alongside the three co-founders.
“Ello is tackling the issue of child literacy head on, leveraging AI to solve the reading challenges kids face, through a fun, engaging 1:1 reading coach,” said Coddy Johnson, Partner at Goodwater Capital. “Coming out of the pandemic, as both parents and teachers struggle to help children get caught up on basic reading skills, Ello is making a major difference to thousands of families. We are excited to support them as they further develop their product and take their next step on the road to empower every child’s reading journey.”
Eradicating Childhood Illiteracy Through 1:1 Coaching; driven by GenAI and the Best Child Speech Recognition Technology on the Market
The U.S. has a big problem with child literacy. The NAEP – Nation’s Report Card – shows that 67% of 4th graders cannot read proficiently. Ello is helping kids, parents and teachers overcome this challenge and democratizing education through its AI-based reading tools.
With a mission to empower every child to become a competent, enthusiastic reader, regardless of their resources or environment, Ello excels at precisely aligning books with a child’s reading proficiency and interests, meeting the child where they are on their reading journey, and fostering that child’s motivation and skill development.
Ello wholeheartedly champions the Science of Reading approach, which places an emphasis on equipping children with the essential decoding skills required for reading mastery. With Ello, children do not guess or ‘cue’ based on pictures in the book, they are taken along a journey of mastery of phonics, and supported in the process of decoding words as they read engaging stories tailored to their abilities and interests.
Ello is powered by proprietary speech recognition and AI. It listens, understands, and engages with children to teach them critical reading skills. With patent-pending speech recognition that is accurate at a phoneme level, Ello can understand a child in a way technology has been unable to before. It outperforms OpenAI’s Whisper, known to be the best speech recognition technology on the market, as well as Google Cloud’s speech API.
About the Ello Team
Ello was founded by a team of experts in education, childhood development and artificial intelligence. Tom Sayer, CEO, was the head of impact and adoption programs at Google for Education, where his team was responsible for ensuring that Google tools were used effectively in classrooms worldwide. Dr. Elizabeth Adams, CXO, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in child development, child behavior, and has worked with children and families for over 15 years in community settings, schools, clinics, and hospitals. Catalin Voss, CTO, previously developed an AI-based augmented reality therapy for children with autism, a low cost point of sale tool to support economic empowerment in Africa, and at Stanford University he led a project using natural language processing to identify racial disparities in the California criminal justice system.
“Elizabeth, Catalin and I have all come to Ello through our own journeys, but we share a belief that reading is the key to education in the information age, and are driven by the mission to give a high quality literacy education to all children, regardless of their resources,” said Tom Sayer, CEO and Co-Founder of Ello. “We are appreciative of our investors’ support as we build out new versions of our product this fall that will reach more families who are looking for tools to help their child tackle reading challenges and get more excited about reading. With the latest advances in technology, including GenAI, we can finally meet the challenge of 1:1 teaching and democratize education through our AI-based reading coach.”
Ello is solving one of education’s largest issues, childhood illiteracy, by scaling 1:1 instruction to maximize the learning potential of all children, regardless of resources. Its first product is the world’s most advanced reading coach, powered by proprietary speech recognition and generative AI. It listens, understands, and engages with children to teach them critical reading skills. Ello is founded by a team of experts in education, childhood development and artificial intelligence, and backed by investors including Y Combinator, Goodwater, Project A and Homebrew. Learn more at https://ello.com.
Big Swing Communications
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