Lithuanian edtech Leya AI raises €1M in a pre-seed funding

Vilnius-based edtech startup Leya AI has raised €1 million in a pre-seed funding round to revolutionize language learning through an affordable real-time speaking AI Tutor. The investors included V-Sharp Venture Studio, Inventure, BADideas.fund, and several angel investors.

The company focuses on democratizing access to personal coaching by initially revolutionizing language learning through an affordable real-time speaking AI Tutor. The funds will be utilized to enhance their AI English Tutor, attract and retain talent in product and engineering roles, and support Leya AI’s expansion. With a vision beyond language tutoring, Leya AI aims to become a versatile human-like tutor covering various life coaching domains, aspiring to bring personalized coaching to learners globally.

English language skills continue to be highly sought after as they are the gateway to the world. There are 1.2B English learners today, and, yet, the majority of new learners find it hard to master the language. Reasons include insufficient numbers of tutors, lack of ways to practice speaking skills, and, of course, unaffordability.

“5 years ago I was struggling with my English speaking skills too, tried various solutions, but nothing helped. That changed when I started to only speak in English for my daily life communication. I was talking with my Lithuanian friends, colleagues, and relatives only in English. It was difficult – it took me a year to see the desired results, and brought a lot of frustration for others. In other words, I experienced the pain of learning English deeply myself,” says Mindaugas Bruzas, CEO & Co-Founder at Leya AI.

The team at Leya has developed a personal AI Tutor, leveraging Generative AI, to offer real-time speaking practice and feedback in a manner a human tutor would. Designed to disrupt traditional language learning methods, Leya AI Tutor promises to deliver enjoyable, guided, and effective coaching sessions, making personalised English language education accessible to learners worldwide.

“Mindaugas, Donatas and the rest of the team at Leya AI are an outstanding example of what happens when a deep, personal experience with a problem meets passion, perseverance and the obsession with building a delightful product from a user-first perspective. They are creating a completely new category in education “personal coaching”, that will disrupt the existing industry and has the potential to improve a billion lives – and we believe that the ambitious team at Leya AI will be the one to lead this change”, says Matej Zabadal, Managing Partner at V-Sharp Venture Studio.

The solution was built by a fully remote team of 7 people collaborating with professional English teachers, seeking to replicate the most engaging and useful classroom activities. Today, Leya AI offers a wide variety of lessons and roleplay scenarios aimed at helping learners improve their overall skills, develop vocabulary, and boost their confidence. It was 6 months ago that the team launched their beta version. Today, the platform serves 4500 users in over 100 different countries all while being hundreds of times more affordable than regular tutors.

Leya AI’s ambitions go beyond English tutoring, or even language tutoring. Instead, “We want Leya to become a human-like tutor that covers any life coaching domain. People are using more than 20 types of coaches – from tips on how to lose weight, to training on how to nail job interviews or become a sales guru, to name just a few. We believe in a future where each one of us has a dedicated personal AI coach who helps us to reach our full potential. We also want to drive this transformation forward. With the technologies we develop, our high product development velocity, and collaboration with experts in specific fields we’re equipped to expand our product’s value way beyond language learning. Ultimately, our mission is to bring personal coaching to everyone on the planet”, adds Mindaugas Bruzas.

For the last four years, the team of Leya AI has been active in the language and speech technology space, focusing on underserved languages.

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