The Ukrainian AI start-up teaching kids English

A Ukrainian English tutoring AI start-up gets 4.2 million euros to expand globally.

Ukraine-based cross-platform language school for kids AllRight has raised 4.2 million euros in a Series A round. The funding round was led by Genesis Investments and supported by TMT Investments, TerraVC, and also existing investors Flashpoint and Misha Lyalin.

With the new funding, the company plans to support AI tutor development and group lessons to reduce lesson costs. The firm’s founders are also planning to use the money to enter new markets and strengthen their position in Poland, Spain, and Latin America.

AllRight was founded in 2017 by Oleg Oksyuk, with the mission to give every child the opportunity to learn English and to reduce lesson costs by leveraging artificial intelligence. Mr Oksyuk and the core team at AllRight have previously worked for such start-ups and enterprises as 51Talks and Cisco, which is why, according to the company, they have the proper engineering, pedagogical, and marketing skills to build AllRight into a global edtech leader.

Using the company’s platform children over the age of four can learn English through a combination of lessons with real teachers and homework using AI-powered tutors. AllRight targets markets with low online education penetration rates and aims to digitise the industry. In less than three years since its inception the company has launched Spanish-English, Polish-English, and Russian-English language pairs and gained the trust of over 9,000 online students who take 50,000 lessons per month.

Synchronised software

The learning process is powered by a synchronised software system that comprises a real-time collaboration platform for teachers and students to deliver live lessons online with the lesson quality being controlled by AI. Once the live lessons are over, a voice-only AI system with speech recognition and synthesis lets children practice spoken English some more through homework lessons.

Recently, AllRight also launched a mobile application with a virtual tutor who gives additional lessons and communicates with students.

“At this stage of technology development, we cannot replace real teachers with virtual ones, but we are working on the close integration of real and artificial intelligence,” says Mr Oksyuk. “We are experimenting with allocating part of the lesson time to the AI-teacher so that the real teacher can conduct several classes at once to reduce the cost of the lessons.”

One strength of AllRight that other language learning platforms don’t have, according to Mr Oksyuk, is its focus on multiple language pairs and on international expansion.

“After the first launch, we soon entered the markets of Spain and Poland. Recently, we started working in Italy and found a product-market fit much faster than in other countries. It seems like we have found the key to a successful global scaling, and this round will help us to continue improving the integration of AI and engage more children in the up-to-date educational process,” he says.

The right time for online education

Vitaliy Laptenok, general partner at Genesis Investments, points out that this is the time of highest opportunity for the online education industry.

“We are very excited to announce the biggest deal of Genesis Investments to date. AllRight’s team, with decades of experience, has designed an impressive high-tech product with tempting market potential,” he said.

And the market potential really is there. According to data that Genesis Investments quotes, there are more than 1.5 billion English learners in the world and 500 million of them are children. Furthermore, the global English language learning market is set to reach a worth of 46.3 billion euros by 2025.

“In such an environment, founders with a precise business vision and a competitive English-learning platform will inevitably accomplish their ambitious goals. The platform [AllRight] currently demonstrates 300 per cent year-over-year growth and the team supports these dynamics by entering new markets and scaling there,” Mr Laptenok says. “With its solid digital marketing and product expertise, Genesis Investments will help AllRight scale internationally and outperform itself.”

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