ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 146

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Master English fluency: Israeli startup nabs $9.25m funding for virtual AI tutor

Loora says its personalized English-language learning coach helps users practice and improve conversation skills with real-time feedback on grammar, pronunciation, and accent

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Loora's generative AI English-language learning coach. (Courtesy)
Loora's generative AI English-language learning coach. (Courtesy)

Israeli generative AI language learning startup Loora has come out of stealth with $9.25 million in seed funding, aiming to make English conversational fluency accessible for the over one billion learners around the world.

The Tel Aviv-based startup has secured $9.25 million in seed funding, led by early-stage venture firm Emerge. US VC firm Two Lantern Ventures Partners and Tel Aviv-based private investment firm Kaedan Capital joined the early financing round, as did angel investors including Zohar Gilon and Amit Gilon, as well as founders from tech firms Lightricks and ironSource.

Founded in late 2020 by CEO Roy Mor, a former algorithm developer at Mobileye, and CTO Yonti Levin, a former machine learning developer at K Health, Loora has developed a generative AI-based app for personalized English language coaching through audio and speech-to-text interactions, which the startup says is akin to conversing with a native speaker.

The startup believes that while there is great demand for learning English — the second most widely spoken language in the world and essential to improving career and socioeconomic opportunities — current private tuition options are still too costly, while available apps are mostly “gamified” and geared to casual or basic conversation.

Loora’s virtual audio-based AI tutor vows to improve conversational English skills by responding to voice prompts on topics that range from sports to tech, business, fashion, or the latest book or show. The one-on-one virtual tutor is optimized specifically for personalized English learning and can provide real-time feedback on grammar, accent and pronunciation, the startup says.

“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,” said Mor. “While generative AI has immense potential to help people practice their language skills, not all AI is created equal.”

Team at Israeli startup Loora. (Courtesy)

“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,” Mor added.

The startup says it has already attracted thousands of paid subscribers from across the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. About 70% of its subscribers use the platform to improve their English for professional purposes.

Loora said the proceeds of the recent seed funding will be used for further research and development of the app’s generative AI capabilities, improving its product, expanding its team of AI researchers and engineers, and ramping up marketing efforts. The learning tool, which is currently available for download only via the App Store for iPhone users, is expected to be made available for Android users this year.

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