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Loora secures $12M to bring affordable English fluency to everyone who needs it

The Loora team
Image credit: Loora

Loora, an app that uses generative AI to help people become fluent in English, has raised $12 million in a Series A funding round. The round was led by QP Ventures, while existing investors Emerge and Two Lanterns Venture Partners also participated. The investment adds to $9.25 million Loora raised in seed funding, and will be used to expand its team and its proprietary AI as the platform extends its reach in the market.

The language learning market is big, with advances in AI powering teaching tools, and increased demand from learners looking to improve the professional and social lives. English learning alone is expected to be worth more than $70 billion a year by 2030. TFN asked Loora’s CEO Ray Mor about why Loora is different.

Focused on fluency in every situation you need

One thing is that sets it apart, says Mor, is that it is built for those that want fluency. “Loora is built for serious learners seeking to develop English fluency for professional or personal advancement, rather than casual learners,” Mor told us. “Loora is for learning how to have meaningful conversations and being able to express yourself on the topics and in the situations that matter to you.”

But that type of learner currently has little choice. Language apps or lessons tend to be linear to address the needs of as many learners as possible. Additionally, they typically use gamified approaches with phrases and situations that are not relevant or, sometimes, even useful. While using a private tutor addresses those shortfalls, it is expensive, inconvenient, and may not match the desired learning pace.

Founded by Mor and co-founder Yonti Levin in 2020, Loora addresses this gap. It provides an affordable AI tutor that can take learners beyond basic phrases and adapt lessons to match their fluency.

The app’s virtual coach is intended to be the equivalent of speaking to a native English speaker, but the AI model means that it adapts to the learner’s level. Available whenever needed, the coach does not just offer language advice, but can also offer guidance on pronunciation and accent.

Perhaps most importantly, it teaches English using conversational scenarios that are relevant to a learner, rather than abstract role-plays. “One of Loora’s primary differentiators that really makes it stand out amongst other solutions is that it caters specifically to this personal need,” says Mor. “Loora enables learners to improve their English by speaking about anything and in any situation they care about, whether it be technical conversations, informal chats, expressing ideas, or even role-playing situations learners want to improve in, like job interviews or sales calls, for example.”

QP Ventures’ Daniel Robins noted that Loora has been built from the ground up as a sophisticated AI solution. “Loora’s team has been innovating in AI long before it became popular,” he said, adding that Loora was a “deeply differentiated solution that captures all the advantages and nuances of being tutored by a native English speaker, while making language proficiency accessible, affordable, and achievable with technology.”

Mor echoes the point, “we have very intentionally and carefully optimised Loora’s AI for the specific purpose of developing English fluency, including subjects like grammar and idioms,” he said. It means that the app will also avoid inappropriate teaching from content scraped from the public web. “We use only our own proprietary data and bespoke training and evaluation system for training and optimising our models. As a result, we’ve continuously seen improved retention and engagement.”

And Loora’s team shares the mission. “We value diversity within the tech industry,” Mor explained. “Our team is 50% women and our staff is predominantly made up of non-native English speakers, so they are intimately familiar with the struggle of trying to learn English in an English-dominant world.”

Sadly, for those looking to learn other languages, Loora is focused on their English offer. “For many people, English is not a nice-to-have, rather it’s often a must-have for socioeconomic advancement, especially in our increasingly globalised world,” he explained. “In the future, we may consider adding other widely used languages like Spanish or Chinese. But until then, we are focused on the billions of English learners around the globe.”

A mission to empower learners

Loora’s model has proven successful. Coming out of stealth last year, it has seen an eight-fold increase in recurring revenue and a two-fold improvement in user retention, with thousands of subscribers across the world getting closer to the fluency they want.

They plan to use their latest funding to accelerate the company’s growth, expanding their team, deepening the underlying AI technology, and expanding their reach on Android devices as well as with their enterprise offer.

“Learning a language is a personal journey that often requires individualised time and attention,” Mor told us. “Our goal at Loora is to help democratise access to personalised English learning in a way that wasn’t possible before AI. We’re privileged to live in an era where we can leverage the power of AI for good and channel it towards creating a more equitable future, where speakers of all languages have an equal opportunity at self-advancement through English fluency.”

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