Kira Learning, a San Francisco-based company building an AI-powered platform that allows anyone to teach and learn computer science, announced that it has raised $15M in its Series A funding round from existing investors NEA and the AI Fund. The startup intends to use the funds to expand operations and its business reach.
Founded in 2021 by Andrea Pasinetti, Kira Learning works to establish computer science and AI as foundational pillars of education alongside literacy and numeracy by offering a curriculum designed by notable educators, scientists and engineers, along with AI-assisted lesson planning, grading, and student assistance. The platform aims to provide teachers and students with the means to learn how to code, discover how coding affects the world, and, subsequently, how they can adapt to a rapidly changing world.
Speaking about the platform, Co-founder & CEO of Kira Learning, Andrea Pasinetti, said:
We’re seeing the most significant shift in K-12 education in half a century, as computer science becomes an essential third pillar in K-12 education along with language and math, and we’re thrilled to join with the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) as our first partner out of the gate in ensuring all students benefit from early exposure to computer science. We believe this subject needs to be an equal pillar in K-12 education, alongside literacy and math skills. With the rigour that went into designing our curriculum and platform, we can take anyone from never having written a single line of code to being able to train a neural network in just three weeks. We are excited to bring it nationwide.
The firm is in active discussions with several additional states and anticipates having programs in about 20 states by this Fall.
Besides fundraising, the company also announced a partnership with the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN), managed by Battelle Education, following a competitive RFP process, to provide all public high schools and middle schools in the state with an introductory CS curriculum and an unparalleled, integrated teaching-learning platform. TSIN, the Tennessee Department of Education, and Battelle will leverage the curriculum and platform to implement the state’s new computer science requirement in high schools.
Carmen Chang, Partner, NEA, added:
Advances in AI present an attractive opportunity to democratize teaching and learning computer science. What Duolingo did for languages, we believe Kira Learning will do for computer science and AI. Specifically, we believe Kira Learning will become the destination for anyone looking to learn CS. Andrea’s experience in education and technology makes him uniquely suited to spearhead this timely effort.
AI Fund General Partner and Kira Learning Chairman Andrew Ng commented:
AI coding is the new literacy. When the educational system aspired to full literacy, it enriched society. Given the importance of computing and AI throughout society, it’s now clear that everyone should learn these subjects. Kira Learning’s journey to bring this to all K-12 students will enrich and empower the next generation.
Kira Learning’s mission is to establish computer science and AI as foundational pillars of education alongside literacy and numeracy. Last year in June, the startup raised $6 million in seed funding led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Dr Andrew Ng’s AI Fund.