Lalilo, the French EdTech startup that helps students learn to read at their own pace, has raised $5.5 million from Partech, EduCapital, and Citizen Capital.
The Paris-based company was launched three years ago by three engineers with the mission to end illiteracy. The thinking was to give teachers the technology to support struggling readers. The result is Lalilo, an online AI-driven literacy program.
From Kindergarten to second grade, teachers can use Lalilo in the classroom to differentiate reading levels and tailor instruction accordingly. The program guides students through exercises on targeted reading skills while teachers receive detailed data on their performance. There are more than 3,000 exercises in phonics, word recognition, and comprehension, which all take place in a “playful and interactive world.”
The platform is currently used in classrooms in the US and France; each month, more than 5,000 teachers and 90,000 students complete several million exercises. In the US (more than half of its user base), Lalilo sells its program to schools and districts through a premium model: use of the program is free for teachers and students, but detailed student reporting and other advanced features must be purchased through an annual license. In France, thanks to the partnership with the Ministry of Education, the entire program is free for school teachers.
The partnership with the French Ministry of Education is a recently awarded grant, which funds a 12-month Research & Development phase for three projects in both STEM and literacy. "This partnership with the Ministry of Education is an opportunity for us to help even more school teachers counteract school drop-out rates in the country where we founded our company,” says Lalilo co-founder Laurent Jolie.
The new investments will fuel the startups growth outside of France. Commenting on the round, Lalilo co-founder Amine Mezzour said, "We are proud to have raised with three funds which reflect Lalilo’s dynamics: international ambition with Partech, education with EduCapital, and social impact with Citizen Capital.”