Russian-born edtech startup Mybuddy.ai, developer of a virtual English tutor for children, has raised a $1 million seed round from Russian VC LETA Capital.
In a press release, the company claims that over 500 million children around the globe are trying to learn English, but can't reach fluency because they lack actual practice speaking the language. Enter Buddy, the cartoon robot who tutors spoken English through AI-voice. Buddy leads the young students through dialogue and voice-based games. Though its founders hail from Moscow, Mybuddy.ai is now based in San Francisco. The edtech startup reports that business has grown tenfold over the past year, reaching 20,000 paying students. Alex Chachava, the managing partner of the LETA Capital, was “impressed by the fact that MyBuddy.ai is one of the very few companies that managed to build a sustainable B2C-business around virtual voice assistant technology powered by AI/ML.” “Just as chatbots, robotics process automation, and robo-advisors are changing other industries, AI technologies are transforming the educational industry, allowing teachers to focus on more creative and exciting tasks," added Ivan Crewkov, the startup’s co-founder and CEO. The new investment will go toward product development and launching the app in new regions.