Seattle-based Bamboo Learning, a voice-powered education technology startup, has announced it has raised $1.4 million in a seed round of funding to expand voice applications and content for education and entertainment.
Investors who participated in the round include the Alexa Fund, Wavemaker Partners, Unlock Venture Partners, VoicePunch, and technology industry veterans from Amazon, Apple, Disney, and Microsoft.
Founded in 2018 by Ian Freed and Irina Fine, Bamboo Learning is an education software and services company with a mission to teach using voice-based devices. It focuses on developing skills for Alexa that enables everyone – children, teens and adults – to have fun learning and practicing different subjects while listening, viewing images, and using their voice.
Bamboo Learning currently has five education-focused voice applications, which include Bamboo Books, Bamboo Math, Bamboo Music, Highlights Storybooks from Bamboo, and Bamboo Luminaries. Bamboo Skills offer a range of challenging and engaging exercises to help customers master different levels of subjects. They also track progress and some offer an option to receive results via email. All the applications are available free of charge in the Amazon Alexa Skill store.
Speaking about its products and offerings, Ian Freed, Co-founder and CEO, Bamboo Learning, said,
“Bamboo Learning’s education and entertainment products are available on over 100 million Alexa devices worldwide. With Bamboo Math, Bamboo Books, Bamboo Music, and now Bamboo Luminaries, anyone can start learning and playing solely with the power of their voice.”
The company has just added its latest application, Bamboo Luminaries. This application lets Alexa device owners and their families in more than 80 countries learn about a diverse set of historical figures including writers, scientists, musicians, social activists, artists, and more. The application is available to Alexa users by saying “Alexa, open Bamboo Luminaries” to any Alexa device.
Lauding the company for its innovative educational products, Paul Bernard, Director of the Amazon Alexa Fund, said,
“Bamboo Learning is a true innovator in developing entertaining educational Alexa skills like Bamboo Luminaries, which just came out today. They work with speed and precision and, given all they’ve accomplished already, we’re excited about the products Bamboo Learning will continue to develop, build and share with customers.”
Meanwhile, Bamboo Learning said that the new funding will help the company hire new software engineers and content producers to accelerate the development of new applications.
Founded just over a year ago, the company has become a well-known name in the voice technology industry. Its Bamboo Math application was awarded for Best Multimodal Experience at the 2019 Voice Summit and Bamboo Books was listed No.1 in Leah Nieman’s list of 20 Education Uses for Alexa. The company’s Bamboo Luminaries, Bamboo Math, Highlights Storybooks from Bamboo applications are available in more than 80 countries.