Three years after its launch, Lalilo, an EdTech startup that helps students learn to read at their own pace has entered an acceleration phase. Founded in 2016 by three engineers, the company has raised $5.5m from Partech, EduCapital, and Citizen Capital.

Lalilo is an online tool that Kindergarten-2nd grade teachers can use in the classroom to differentiate reading instruction. The program guides students through exercises on targeted foundational reading skills while teachers receive detailed data on their performance. It aims to solve the challenge of supporting a growing number of struggling readers by putting technology and artificial intelligence in the hands of some of the most influential stakeholders: teachers.

Thousands of students already use Lalilo in USA and France. Each month, more than 5.000 teachers and 90.000 students complete several million exercises in their classrooms.

“We are proud to have raised with three funds which reflect Lalilo’s dynamics: international ambition with Partech, education with EduCapital, and social impact with Citizen Capital”, said Amine Mezzour, co-founder of Lalilo.

In the United States (more than half of its user base), Lalilo sells its program to schools and districts through a premium model: use of the program is free for teachers and students, but detailed student reporting and other advanced teacher features are purchased through an annual license. In France, thanks to the partnership with the Ministry of Education, the entire program remains free for school teachers.

In France, Lalilo’s request for proposal was recently accepted and the company was granted a prestigious partnership with the Ministry of Education. The innovation partnership, entitled “development of a teaching assistant based on artificial intelligence technologies for the learning of literacy and STEM,” finances a 12-month Research & Development phase for three selected projects in both STEM and literacy.

Laurent Jolie, co-founder of Lalilo added: “This partnership with the Ministry of Education is an opportunity for us to help even more school teachers counteract school drop-out rates in the country where we founded our company.”