Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a truly transformative force for the EdTech sector, and there is no stopping the fusion of these two fields. According to a research report by Market Research Future (MRFR), the AI in education market size is expected to be valued at around $23.82 billion by the end of 2030. In 2022, this number was $2.5 billion.
AI has become an opportunity for EdTech products to offer more personalized and data-driven services, thus making the learning process more efficient for individual users. As with most relatively new technologies, implementing AI in education has certain challenges, including data quality, accessibility, privacy, and bias. Yet these concerns don’t stop the industry from leveraging the benefits of AI/ML.
To no one’s surprise, IBM, Microsoft, and Google are the most prominent players in this market. However, these giants aren’t the only ones shaping the future of the educational sector. In this article, we explore promising AI Education startups that we recommend C-level executives in the field follow to stay aware of the latest trends in AI and how harnessing it can revolutionize their company’s products.
Top 10 Promising AI Education Startups to Watch in 2023
Founded in 2014 in South Korea, Riiid is a leading AI Tutor solution provider that leverages AI to provide personalized and adaptive learning solutions, replacing traditional tools like textbooks and lectures. Their AI-driven platform analyzes student performance data to create tailored study plans and help learners achieve better outcomes in standardized tests and examinations.
Riiid’s first commercialized AI-enabled solution for TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) called Santa was launched in 2017, gaining 1 million users solely in the Korean market. In June 2023, the company announced its partnership with ALC, a premier brand in the Japanese language education industry, to deliver Santa to Japan. There, the app has become the most downloaded TOEIC-related application.
In 2022, Riiid made the CB Insights AI 100 list of startups shaping the industry. As of September 2023, the company has received a total funding of $256.7 million.
Sana Labs is an EdTech company that creates personalized learning experiences through AI technology. The platform uses ML algorithms to analyze students’ behaviors and preferences, offer custom learning paths and content recommendations, and provide adaptive assessments that adjust to individual performance.
The startup is not just a separate product functioning on its own. Sana Labs influences the field by partnering with educational institutions, online learning platforms, businesses, and other organizations to help them integrate the company’s AI technology into existing programs. This makes Sana Labs a vital player in modernizing education.
Since its foundation in 2016 in Stockholm and until 2023, the company has received $82 million in funding.
This Indian EdTech startup, Teachmint, started by providing educators and students with an infrastructure for online education. While it primarily focuses on streamlining the online teaching experience, Teachmint also uses AI to enhance its services and enable features like automated attendance tracking and data-driven insights into student performance. Additionally, the company utilizes AI to provide learners with personalized content recommendations based on their interests and learning behavior, thus helping students stay engaged.
In 2023, Teahmint stated that it would pivot and focus on digitizing schools. Now, the company offers full-stack solutions for teaching management, financial operations, classroom and admission management, and 20+ other processes. So far, the startup has raised $118 million in funding.
US-based startup Carnegie Learning is a leading provider of learning solutions for K12 (from kindergarten to 12th grade) education that combines AI and cognitive science to create math and science curricula that adapt to individual student needs.
The company uses AI to provide personalized learning experiences by analyzing students’ responses to math problems, allowing them to receive targeted support and engage in more effective learning. In addition to helping the students, Carnegie Learning assists educators with understanding individual students’ unique learning processes and requirements.
The company’s product, MATHia® Adventure, was named Best Educational Game of 2023 as part of the annual SIIA CODiE Awards. The game developed by Carnegie Learning was inspired by how children see the world and aimed to turn math practice into meaningful play.
Carnegie Learning was selected for the GSV (Global Silicon Valley) 150, a list of the world’s most transformative private companies in education. As of September 2023, the startup’s funding has amounted to $16 million, and one of its most prominent investors is the US Department of Education.
The Udacity online learning platform employs AI to create personalized, adaptable learning paths, AI-powered assessment and feedback systems, and AI-driven content recommendations. It differs from other similar platforms because it specializes in nano degree programs in AL, ML, robotics, data science, software engineering, and other tech-related fields.
The company aims to democratize education, make it more affordable and accessible, and at the same time, prepare the students for the actual demands of the tech sector through tailored educational experiences.
Since it was founded in 2011 in California, the US, Udacity has received $240 million in funding. Now, the company has 18 investors, and as of 2023, is reportedly in discussions about its acquisition by a major EdTech company.
This UK-based language learning platform, Memrise, incorporates AI to implement an adaptive learning approach, which tailors lessons to individual learners based on their progress, strengths, and weaknesses. Serving over 50 million users, Memrise is available on iOS, Android, and web, offering over 150 language courses across 25 languages.
The platform employs spaced repetition algorithms to ensure learners review and reinforce language concepts at the proper intervals for optimal retention. Memrise also uses AI for picture recognition and pronunciation assessment, backing those by an extensive database of native speaker videos.
Though the app doesn’t use an ad-based monetization model, Memrise has been profitable since late 2016 and has received $21.8 million in total funding so far.
Focused on early literacy development, Amira Learning utilizes AI to provide learners with an intelligent reading assistant that enhances literacy instruction for young learners.
The platform incorporates AI-driven speech recognition and natural language processing (NLP) to assess and support students’ reading abilities. Basically, Amira listens to students as they read aloud, provides real-time feedback, and helps them improve their pronunciation and comprehension of the content. As a result, students using Amira get access to a personalized literacy journey that helps them build strong foundational skills essential for academic success. Moreover, Amira generates diagnostic reports that empower teachers and parents, allowing them to find a more effective way to practice with the kids.
The US-based startup has already raised $40.3 million in funding. In 2023, Amira Learning was approved as an alternative assessment for good cause promotion by Just Read, Florida!, the statewide, comprehensive, coordinated reading initiative that prioritizes reading in Florida’s public schools.
Squirrel AI, also known as Yixue Squirrel AI, is a K12 EdTech startup based in China that specializes in intelligent adaptive education, combining the strengths of artificial intelligence and human educators.
The company employs AI to analyze students’ learning behaviors, create tailored learning paths and adaptive assessments, and thus ensure continuous improvement of the educational experience. In practice, this means students receive individualized instructions with content and challenges adjusting in real time.
The AI algorithm used in this product is an independent intellectual property developed by YiXue Education thanks to the use of the world’s largest student databases.
Since its foundation in 2014, the company has received $190.4 million in funding. In 2021, Yixue Squirrel AI was awarded the $1 million prize for the AAAI Squirrel AI Award for Artificial Intelligence for the Benefit of Humanity.
What started as an educational YouTube channel more than a decade ago is now a thriving
India-based learning platform, Unacademy, with over 17 million monthly visits as of September 2023, according to data from SimilarWeb.
Unacademy provides content for major competitive examinations and offers video lectures on different subjects, allowing aspiring students to better prepare for their upcoming tests. Since its official launch in 2014, Unacademy has raised $838.5 million in funding and attracted 43 investors, including Mirae Asset Venture Investment and General Atlantic.
So, how does the company use artificial intelligence? Unacademy leverages AI-driven algorithms to deliver personalized course recommendations, provide instant feedback on student performance, and allow users to track progress. The platform also facilitates real-time doubt resolution during live classes with AI chatbots and offers adaptive content creation and curation. Moreover, in 2023, Unacademy launched AI editor Cohesive AI, which aims to make content creation more accessible to anyone who writes, from marketers to fiction writers.
Unacademy’s integration of AI technologies empowers learners with tailored and engaging educational resources, contributing to its position as a leading player in the EdTech industry.
Based in the US, DreamBox Learning is an EdTech company aiming to transform mathematics education using artificial intelligence. The platform’s AI algorithms provide personalized and adaptive math lessons for students from kindergarten to eighth grade.
By analyzing how different learners approach problem-solving, the AI determines their individual learning styles and tracks progress in real time, tailoring the curriculum to address specific needs and areas of improvement. Moreover, DreamBox’s innovative reporting tool can predict future proficiency for the end of the school year based on assessments throughout the year.
Today, DreamBox Learning is used in all US states and throughout Canada. The startup was even included in the GSV 150, a list of the world’s most transformative private companies in education. In August 2023, with $175.6 million received in total funding, DreamBox Learning was acquired by Discovery Education, another US-based EdTech company.
Leveraging AI for Education Empowerment
There is no denying that AI will continue to transform the educational landscape in the near future, with more and more companies joining the club of those leveraging its ability to make learning experiences genuinely personalized.
AI-driven insights already help bridge the gap between educators and learners, facilitate engaging educational content creation, and simply make learning more enjoyable. But most importantly, AI has the potential to make education more accessible and affordable to students worldwide, regardless of their background.
Beetroot primarily focuses on partnering with companies in impactful fields, which is why we often collaborate with EdTech companies. From our experience, AI in this industry is not a temporary trend but an inevitable technology for those who want to stay competitive. Therefore, we are ready to help our clients embark on this journey and help them make AI a prominent feature of their products.
The Beetroot team is prepared to help more organizations in the EdTech sector benefit from AI’s rapid evolution. After discussing the project goals with the client, we use our access to a broad talent pool to assemble dedicated teams to guide the project to success. These can comprise ML and computer vision experts, data scientists and engineers, and other specialists skilled to ensure data quality and accessibility, maintain regulatory compliance, and solve other AI-related challenges.
We understand that investing in AI technology is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. Whether you’re contemplating the development of an AI-powered product from scratch or seeking to enhance an existing system, Beetroot is here to provide expert guidance every step of the way.