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Loora intends to teach English using AI.

There is a chance that AI will replace language teachers.

It may not be a good idea. Some organizations, like Duolingo, believe AI can replace human language instructors. AI-translated text is less lexically rich than human translations, but cost reductions make it worth it for certain managers.

Some corporations claim AI can scale what language instructors cannot.

Loora teaches English via conversational AI. Loora, founded by Roy Mor and Yonti Levin, lets iOS users interact with a chatbot that corrects English understanding.

Mor explained to Eltrys via email that his dislike of language learning was the inspiration for Loora. “Language learning apps are for beginners or casual learners, and human tutors are expensive, inconvenient, and scarce.”

Loora, Arabic for “language,” gives learners AI-generated discussion topics and situations in sports, tech, business, fashion, novels, TV programs, interviews, and presentations. The software gives grammar, pronunciation, and accent comments and a straight translation in the user’s native language if needed.

Time-based proficiency rankings allow Loora to tailor interactions to users’ speaking levels.

OpenAI-backed Speak, Preply (which has doubled down on AI innovation), and ELSA are among the English learning apps with similar characteristics. Mor says Loora is distinct because it targets “serious learners” who want English proficiency for personal and professional success.

The majority of language learning applications are restricted and gamified, Mor noted. Loora’s AI is designed to help users gain English fluency beyond basic conversational abilities. We solely train and optimize our models using our own data and unique training and assessment methodology, enhancing retention.”

Mor also argues that Loora is superior to other applications and instructors for certain language learning use cases, such as business pitching. As opposed to tutors, Mor claims that Loora’s software is not subject-specific. Mor says specialty instructors are in demand more than generalists.

“Say a learner wants to discuss business concepts at a high level for work,” Mor remarked. If the instructor is unfamiliar, even a native speaker, they won’t be good at teaching English for that reason.

Given the limits of language instruction applications, especially ones without human input, that’s encouraging.

A Michigan State University study of popular language learning applications found that almost all participants improved grammar and vocabulary, but only 60% increased speaking competency, a typical issue in digital language learning programs. A hybrid strategy combining online and classroom instruction was shown to be superior for second language acquisition and retention.

The size of the English language learning market—which, according to Research and Markets, will be worth nearly $70 billion by 2030—might have influenced Loora’s investors.

Hearst Ventures, Emerge, and Two Lanterns Venture Partners joined QP Ventures in a $12 million Series A round for Loora, increasing its total funding to $21.25 million. Mor said the money will cover Loora’s Android app development, “deepening” its core AI tech and conversational capabilities, and growing the startup’s team from 14 to 25 by 2024.

Loora also plans to develop an enterprise solution to go beyond its 15,000 app users. The Loora app costs $15 per month or $120 per year. Mor expects corporate clients to grow faster than the startup’s consumer business, which grew 8x in 2023.

“Our business-to-business offering will make Loora available through employers, universities, and institutions, making it more accessible to those who need it most,” Mor stated. With [the Series A] fundraising, our efficient unit economics, rising client base, and the constant need for English learning solutions, we feel we can weather any headwinds and continue to develop and serve our learners.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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