AI-powered Spoken English Startup Blackboard Radio Raises $100,000 to Accelerate Growth

AI-powered Spoken English Startup Blackboard Radio Raises $100,000 to Accelerate Growth

AI-powered personalized spoken English coach Blackboard Radio has raised a seed funding round of $100,000 from social enterprise incubator Villgro, as well as from other marquee angel investors.

The company said that the fund will be used to accelerate the development of the startup’s platform for school going students in Tier II and III cities in India.

Founded in 2016 by Vatsal Dusad, Shubham Gupta and Arpit Jain, who were hostel mates in IIT Delhi, Blackboard Radio (BBR) is an AI-powered personalized spoken English coach. It enables conversational English mastery providing interactive, personalized instruction over a basic smart phone to young children from all socio-economic backgrounds.

Blackboard Radio provides children with guided speaking practice with expert English trainers. The core focus of BBR is on making students become confident in speaking, improvement on real-life English skills in pronunciation and articulation, and tangible outcomes measured using continuous spoken English assessment based on international CEFR levels.

Speaking about the company and its app’s benefits to the users, Shubham Gupta, Co-founder and CPO of Blackboard Radio, said,

“Using state-of-the-art machine learning models uniquely trained on Indian accents of young children, the app provides automated scoring of pronunciation on a user’s speech and provides feedback to improve. Blackboard Radio has created a platform where students can speak freely without fear of judgements, which helps students to become more confident.”

On what makes Villgro invest in Blackboard Radio, Vikash Jha, Manager for Education Investments at Villgro, commented saying, 

“The simplicity of the innovation, ubiquity of the problem in the target segment, strong validation from the early traction, and the passion of the founders is what really excited us to invest in Blackboard Radio.”

Blackboard Radio uses AI and NLP to create conversation bots for children. Their conversation bots are chatbots with an additional layer of animated graphics. These bots simulate a real-life conversation between a child and a virtual cartoon character. This technology is used to create adaptive daily 10-minute workouts for children where they play an activity by speaking to this conversation bot.

Having recognized that not being proficient in English leads to many Indian students under-confident and often left with fewer opportunities in higher studies and jobs, Co-founder and CEO of Blackboard Radio Vatsal Dusad said that the company is looking to tap the massive opportunity and help 200+ million school students in India to speak better English.

The company currently works with over a 1000 students in a closed beta and has plans to reach out to 10,000 students by 2019.

Img Src

About the Author
Author: Stephen Soulunii
Stephen Soulunii No more a student, but love to learn. Not a teacher, but care about how students are taught. Not an educator, but want everyone to be educated. Not a social worker, but desire to see change. Not a reformer, but always want to see a better world. The author believes that only sound education can bring a better future, better world and technology can help achieve a lot in this field.

Like what we do?

The Latest EdTech News To Your Inbox

Follow us:



Latest EdTech News To Your Inbox

About ETR Community

EdTechReview (ETR) is a community of and for everyone involved in education technology to connect and collaborate both online and offline to discover, learn, utilize and share about the best ways technology can improve learning, teaching, and leading in the 21st century.

EdTechReview spreads awareness on education technology and its role in 21st century education through best research and practices of using technology in education, and by facilitating events, training, professional development, and consultation in its adoption and implementation.


-> Read More

Join the EdTech Community

Subscribe and Join the 100,000+ members who trust us...

I find every news, reviews very informative and interesting. This site is indeed a great site for both teachers and learners. Thanks to EdTech for creating such an enriching site on education. Hats off!!
- Regin Brown, Educationist and Blogger, United Kingdom

My group likes this site because it's so up-to-date and has tons of relevant articles.
- Angela Giuliano, Teacher, New Mexico

Your write ups and articles ignites the minds making them receptive to the whole new wealth of EdTech.
- Jagat Rana, Parent, India

EdTechReview has some great resources for teachers who need to get some ideas about technology in the classroom.
- Loretta Wideman,Teacher, East Africa

EdTechReview keeps educators up to date with trending tech savvy terms relative to the discipline.
- Dr. Ingrid Rizzolo,Education Professional, Curriculum and Instruction Designer, New York City Area

-> Read More

Go to Our Client List

Adobe Avaya Bettasia Bonio Campus Management CK12 CKS Evernote IBM Intel IQPC Kidzania McGraw Hill Moodle Moot USC Rossier CMR University The British School Canadian International School Pathways Ridge Valley

Subscribe to our Newsletters...