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Kinnu, AI edtech startup from London scores $6.5M to transform learning process

Kinnu founders
Picture credits: Kinnu

Most learning experiences today, from online courses for university to corporate education, are designed around the needs of the educational content creator, not the learner. At this point in time, the founders of Kinnu predicted that AI could solve this problem by both optimising content for the learner, and powering the learning engine through adaptive experience design.

AI in education has recently made headlines with ChatGPT and its impact on coursework. While some people are feeling nervous about all this, Kinnu’s co-founders are confident that AI can be used as a force for good.

Funding to supercharge learning 

Now, the London-based startup, has raised $6.5 million from LocalGlobe (that recently backed Unaric and Mistral AI) and Cavalry Ventures. The funding round also includes participation from Spark Capital and Jigsaw, as well as an all-star angel cast including Tom Hulme from Google Ventures, Guy Podjarny, and Rene Rechtman. With this, the total funding raised by the company accounts for $9 million.

Kinnu co-founder and CEO Christopher Kahler said, “There’s a huge opportunity for AI-powered learning that focuses on accelerating the pace of human learning itself. 10 years ago, online learning experienced a boom because it democratised access to content. The next frontier is democratising access to the mechanism of how we learn, from quantum mechanics and Chaucer to idioms and soft skills, adapted to the learner’s own pace and ability. It’s this that really excites us.”

Martin Janicki, partner at Cavalry Ventures, said, “What excites us about Kinnu is their sui generis approach to solving the problem of learning from both the creator and learner side, as well as the surface area of applicability. Learning is what makes us human, and we do it at all stages of life.”

“We’re on the brink of an enormous transformation in how people learn knowledge and skills,” said Suzanne Ashman, partner at LocalGlobe. “From LocalGlobe’s first meeting with Kinnu’s co-founders, it was clear that their approach to both knowledge acquisition and assessment could deliver huge leaps forward in learning productivity, and give learners more space to focus on application of knowledge. We’re particularly excited about the founder’s approach of AI-driven interdisciplinary learning, allowing people to make connections between different areas in a way that hasn’t been possible in traditional education institutions.” 

“Our backgrounds are perfectly complementary,” said Hanna Celina, co-founder at Kinnu. “I worked at Google, Futurelearn and Deliveroo and studied at Harvard, so we all bring a unique perspective on what the future of learning could look like and how to build it.”

AI-powered learning engine

Founded by Christopher Kahler, Abraham Muller, and Hanna Celina in 2021, Kinnu works with the mission to give everyone the power to learn anything they want to. Before founding Kinnu, the co-founders – Christopher and Abraham, built and exited Qriously, a real-time market research startup backed by Accel and Spark. During their post-acquisition period, they met Hanna Celina who soon joined as Kinnu’s third founder.

With its AI-powered learning engine, Kinnu made an early bet that generative AI would rebalance the concentration of asset value away from content and shift instead towards the technology that enables learners to actually acquire and retain knowledge. The company was founded with the idea that education in the post-AI world will force us to ask what, how, and why we learn: one-size-fits-all, siloed curricula and point-in-time evaluation will soon become a thing of the past.

Currently, Kinnu is currently focusing on adult enthusiast learners. To date, Kinnu has over 100,000 downloads and over four million ‘smart reviews’ have already been answered in the app.

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