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Edtech startup founded by siblings bags $5.3M for AI-powered learning app

Lirvana Labs
Picture Credits: Lirvana Labs

The pandemic interrupted the education of 1.6 billion children globally. Nearly one in five working-age adults in the US cited that they were not working because COVID-19 disrupted their childcare arrangements. Of this population, women aged 25 to 44 were disproportionately affected as they were nearly three times more likely than men due to childcare demands. At the same time, there was an acceleration of AI in the learning sector. 

Global expansion plans

Understanding this, siblings Christie Pang and Clement Pang founded Lirvana Labs in 2022. Now, the California-based creator of a learning companion app for preschool to elementary grade children has raised $5.3 million in early-stage financing. The round was led by Kapor Capital III, Transcend Capital Partners II, and Chingona Ventures, which invested in Cartwheel

Lirvana Labs will use this funding to expand its flagship product – Yeti Confetti Kids app, focusing on how large language models (LLMs) and generative AI capabilities can be harnessed to deliver personalised learning opportunities for globally diverse environments. 

The company is poised for further global expansion, targeting five continents in 2024 and a growing list of native languages including English, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, and more to suit its worldwide pilot needs. Concurrently, the team is developing a university-based research study to evaluate the efficacy of Lirvana Labs’ proprietary AI-enabled instruction model with schools and NGOs worldwide with diverse curricula and needs.

AI-powered personalised learning companion

Lirvana Labs’ Yeti Confetti Kids harnesses AI and cognitive research to act as a versatile educational companion. It empowers parents and teachers with actionable insights into each child’s cognitive, social, and emotional development. The platform creates engaging, healthy, and multi-modal learning experiences spanning over 200 English Literacy, Mathematical Reasoning, and Social-Emotional Skills aligned with Common Core, UN CASEL, and Bloom’s Taxonomy frameworks. 

Trained with LLM-powered oral explanations and scaffolded instruction, Yeti Confetti Kids it touted to adapt to each child’s abilities in real-time, continuously developing and providing a supportive, guidance-based framework that fosters deeper cognitive mastery, aids in concept recall, and rewards all learning abilities.

Lirvana Labs has partnered with needs-based schools in Thailand to bridge ESL gaps and aided Syrian refugee children in Lebanon through Jusoor, an NGO. The company’s data visualisation platform helps schools, teachers, and parents track learner engagement and success, in living rooms, renowned international schools, to make-shift classrooms in refugee camps.

Expert collaboration

The company collaborates with experts including Dr. Alexandra Chen, a United Nations Advisor and renowned Harvard researcher in children’s cognitive functioning; Dr. Alice Siu, a senior research fellow from Stanford University specialising in critical thinking; literacy specialist and previous school leader Claire Galdun of Reading Reimagined; and is proud to have advisors such as Amy Chang, board member at Disney and P&G and social-emotional learning curriculum expert Christine Ma-Lau, among others. These collaborations ensure a holistic approach to equity, deep tech development, and learning.

“As a mother of three, I’m driven by the promise and challenge to apply generative AI in a purposeful way,” said Christie Pang, co-founder and co-CEO of Lirvana Labs. “Our goal is to democratise education worldwide, ensuring every child, from makeshift classrooms to elite schools, benefits from innovative technology built by the best engineering minds. We’re proud that our mission is supported by parents, global investors, and school operators.”

“The core of Lirvana AI’s vision is ‘Learning Nirvana’ – a way to create what we refer to as an ‘AI learning sidekick’, trained with research-backed curriculum, cognitive development theories, and scaffolded instruction,” said Clement Pang, co-founder and co-CEO of Lirvana Labs. “We are perfecting the core intellectual property of Lirvana Labs to empower teachers and parents with AI-powered tools to educate their students and children, regardless of background or economic strata, in an easier, more scientific way.”

“Our partnership with Lirvana Labs is not just an investment, but a step towards building a more equitable and impactful future for all students,” said Brian Dixon, managing partner at Kapor Capital. “I’m confident that Christie and Clement’s lived experience will improve student outcomes in literacy, math, and especially social-emotional learning. As a parent, I know the importance of navigating screen time and can wholeheartedly suggest Yeti Confetti.”

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