Amira Learning Secures $5 Million in Series A Funding Round, Led by Owl Ventures

September 15th, 2019


Amira Learning raises $11M to put its AI-powered literacy tutor in post-COVID classrooms


Amira, the first AI powered reading assistant able to help students learn to read, closed Series A, with investments from Owl, GSV AcceleraTE, Rethink and HMH.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA, /EINPresswire.com/ – Amira Learning, Inc., the first AI powered reading assistant, today announced it received $5 million in a Series A investment round, led by Owl Ventures, with participation from GSV AcceleraTE, Rethink Education, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Amira listens to young students read aloud, assesses reading mastery, and provides real-time, personalized tutoring for every child. Amira helps teachers across America support more students to become motivated and masterful readers.

“Two-thirds of American children are not proficient readers even by 4th grade,” said Mark Angel, CEO and co-founder of Amira.

“We’re grateful to have the support of Owl Ventures, Rethink Education, GSV Accelerate, HMH and Vertical Ventures Partners to help us execute on our mission to reinvent learning to read with AI. This investment round further validates Amira as a game-changer. With backing from three of the top edtech venture funds, Amira is poised to become the first AI software to impact student growth and achievement.”

The Series A includes investment from strategic partner HMH. “As a learning company focused on driving positive student outcomes, HMH understands how critical foundational literacy skills are for long-term success,” commented Jack Lynch, CEO, HMH. “Amira has harnessed the latest advances in learning science to build purposeful technology solutions that empower educators by giving them time back to focus on critical student needs. This fundraising round is a testament to Amira’s potential to impact literacy education for millions, and HMH is proud to be a partner.”

“We’ve invested in Amira because they are focused on solving a critical problem for students in the United States and around the world,” said Amit Patel, Managing Director at Owl Ventures. “No matter what country you live in, learning to read at an early age is a vital skill, and Amira has the potential to impact student literacy globally”.

Research has shown that the essential ingredients for reading success are meaningful practice and feedback. But, millions of children today do not receive enough practice or feedback, and every year, students are reading less and less. Moreover, early reading success dictates life success, as students who are not proficient readers in 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school, have 60% lower employment rates, and experience a 34% decrease in lifetime earnings. The need for better supports is particularly acute for students with dyslexia and other learning disorders, English language learners, and children from low-income households. Imagine software reading along with 5 to 10-year-old children, working with them on whatever books they like, providing help whenever they get stuck or make a mistake, and giving teachers and parents actionable insight about the areas of instruction to focus on next. That software is Amira.

This investment round builds on Amira’s momentum. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the leader in K-12 learning, recently launched a partnership with Amira around early literacy assessment and practice. Amira was named a winner of the ISTE Best of Show 2019, one of eight finalists for the 2019 SXSW EDU Launch competition, top innovator in the Global Startup Super League at 2019 EdTechX Europe, and leading AI solution at the 2018 Global Education Summit. The new funding enables Amira to continue expanding into classrooms across the country.

Amira is being used by leading school districts, including the IDEA Public Schools, Stockton Unified School District and the Oakland Diocese. Amira leverages decades of research at Carnegie Mellon and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston to: • Save teachers time by automating Oral Reading Fluency assessment and Running Records; • Accurately monitor student growth and progress by continuously analyzing student ability as they read out loud; • Validly and efficiently screen to identify students at risk for development of reading problems, including dyslexia; • Practice one-on-one with every student, delivering interactive, real-time tutoring and interventions.

About Amira Learning Founded by the leaders of the R&D team at Renaissance Learning, Amira Learning is reinventing learning to read with AI. In field research conducted by leading Universities, Amira, the first AI powered reading assistant has demonstrated the ability to help children grow as much as giving each child their own certified human tutor. To learn more about visit http://www.amiralearning.com.