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Amira Learning Raises $11.3M and Welcomes NFL Linebacker Brennan Scarlett as Board Advisor to Help Children Learn to Read Using Voice AI

Backed by Google Assistant Fund and Amazon Alexa Fund, the AI-powered reading tutor is live in 300 school districts and aims to help the millions of kids impacted by COVID’s learning loss

San Francisco, Calif. – WEBWIRE
Read With Amira Interface
Read With Amira Interface

Amira Learning, the first-of-its-kind voice AI-based reading tutor for kids, announces today that it has secured $11.3MM in Series B funding, led by Authentic Ventures II, LP, with participation from Vertical Ventures, Owl Ventures, and Rethink Education. The news comes as NFL Linebacker Brennan Scarlett joins as an advisory board member, and the company debuts its new at-home app, Read with Amira.

In partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, Amira is used by 300 school districts and has proven to double the reading growth pace for children. The funding will be used to grow Amira’s at-home and districtwide learning programs which use voice artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer personalized reading tutor services for kids ages 5-10. 

“Closing the literacy gap among children in the U.S. will increase academic engagement in school and at home for children,” said Mark Angel, CEO and Co-Founder of Amira Learning. “Amira is focusing on correcting early literacy issues by combining the science behind how young people learn to read and recent developments in AI to create a virtual reading scientist for every teacher and every student.”

COVID has created the most significant U.S. learning gap ever, and McKinsey estimates that students of color are about three to five months behind in learning; white students are about one to three months behind. For reading specifically, students are a month and a half behind historical averages. According to PACE, this loss is expected to create a learning gap of approximately 12 percent of a year of typical growth. 

“Reading is a fundamental skill that unlocks opportunities for childrens’ success in school, work and life. Yet most Americans don’t know that about 130 million people lack proficiency in literacy, reading below a sixth-grade level. This problem is especially pronounced among low-income people and Black, Latino, and Indigenous people, who are more than twice as likely to lack reading proficiency as white Americans.” said Lindsay Lee from Authentic Ventures. “With tutoring centers and school buildings closed over the past year, the literacy crisis has been magnified. We know what works: every child needs early exposure and regular practice targeted to their individual strengths and challenges. Amira can create transformational change in the development of children’s literacy skills.”

Hey Amira, Teach My Kid to Read: Introducing Read with Amira, a New At-Home Reading App 

Read with Amira, the company’s newest app leverages more than 20 years of research from Carnegie Mellon and uses AI to track words simultaneously from the screen while listening to a child’s pronunciation, correcting and perfecting it based on the database knowledge. It provides real-time feedback for kids and parents by outlining the correct words per minute, how many times and what the child has read, and how long they have read that week. The tech will then select the next set of content for the student depending on reading level to help them progress toward reading mastery.

”Having graduated with a Bachelor’s from UC Berkeley and a Master’s from Stanford, along with the support from my community, I realized that not everyone had the same educational privileges,“ said Scarlett. ”I am grateful to be a part of the Amira Learning team to help equip students to continue their literacy journey regardless of COVID loss expectancies, with the tools for a successful future" 

As an advisory board member, Brennan Scarlett will play an important role in improving literacy and access to literature in historically disadvantaged communities across the country. One of Brennan’s recent initiatives has helped donate Amira Learning to students at the Holy Redeemer Catholic School in Portland, with the ultimate goal of encouraging kids to read while improving reading skills.

Accelerate your child’s reading journey today for only $7.99 per month at  

If you are a school district administrator and would like to introduce Amira Learning into your classrooms, please visit

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