Voice-Powered Education Company Bamboo Learning Raises $1.4 Million

By Annie Baker ● Dec 9, 2019
  • Bamboo Learning, a leader in voice-powered education, announced that it raised $1.4 million in a seed round of funding

Bamboo Learning — a leader in voice-powered education founded by CEO Ian Freed and COO and SVP of Content Irina Fine — announced that it has raised $1.4 million in a seed round of funding to expand voice applications and content for education and entertainment. The investors in this round include the Alexa Fund, Wavemaker Partners, Unlock Venture Partners, VoicePunch, and technology industry veterans from Amazon, Apple, Disney, and Microsoft.

“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,” said Ian Freed, Co-Founder and CEO of Bamboo Learning.

Freed is a thirty-year veteran of the technology industry, including twelve years at Amazon. At Amazon, he served as the VP of Amazon devices where he led both the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Kindle businesses and served as technical advisor to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

And Fine is a thirty-year veteran of curriculum development and teaching, having worked in public and private sectors of education in New York, Washington DC, London, and Moscow, after receiving her M.Ed. in Curriculum Development and an undergraduate degree in Piano Performance and Music Education.

This round of funding will enable Bamboo Learning to hire more software engineers and content producers to accelerate the development of new applications.

“Bamboo Learning is a true innovator in developing entertaining educational Alexa skills like Bamboo Luminaries, which just came out today,” added Paul Bernard, Director of the Amazon Alexa Fund. “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.”

Bamboo’s latest application Bamboo Luminaries also recently launched. Bamboo Luminaries allows Alexa device owners and their families in more than 80 countries to learn about a diverse set of historical figures, including writers, scientists, musicians, social justice activists, artists, and more. And Bamboo Luminaries is available to Alexa users by saying, “Alexa, open Bamboo Luminaries” to any Alexa device or by visiting the Bamboo Learning web site at bamboolearning.com.

In about over a year since Bamboo was founded in 2018, Bamboo Learning has already been recognized in the voice technology industry with Bamboo Math being awarded for Best Multimodal Experience at the 2019 Voice Summit and Bamboo Books listed as number one in Leah Nieman’s list of 20 Education Uses for Alexa.

Currently, Bamboo Learning has five education-focused voice applications (or Alexa skills) for education including Bamboo Math, Bamboo Books, Bamboo Music, Highlights Storybook from Bamboo, and Bamboo Luminaries. And all five applications are available free of charge in the Amazon Alexa Skills store. Plus Bamboo Luminaries, Bamboo Math, and Highlights Storybooks from Bamboo are available in more than 80 countries, including India, the U.K. and most of Europe, as well as Canada and Australia.