French edtech startup Lalilo lands $5.5 mln

Lalilo, a French edtech startup, has secured $5.5 million in funding. The investors were Partech, EduCapital and Citizen Capital.


Three years after its launch, Lalilo, an EdTech startup that helps students learn to read at their own pace, is entering an acceleration phase in France and abroad. Founded in 2016 by three engineers, the company 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.

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.

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.

How does Lalilo work?
Lalilo is an online literacy program with 2 parts:
> A playful and interactive world: students work on more than 3.000 adaptive exercises in phonics, word recognition, and comprehension.
> A data reporting: teachers can track whole class and individual progress. They can also assign specific lessons

New Fundraising Round
While they are delighted to be able to support French students in their literacy journey, Lalilo also spreads its influence beyond the national and European market. From its inception, Lalilo has been focused on the US EdTech market.

This allows the company to get inspiration and mentorship from the numerous EdTech innovations that are thriving in the US and to focus on a robust English language product that can be exported to other English-speaking countries. To advance this drive for growth beyond France, Lalilo raised a new round of $5.5 million from Partech, EduCapital, and Citizen Capital.

“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.” Amine Mezzour, co-founder

RFP with the French Government
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. At the end of the first R&D phase, selected projects will continue through a six-month scaling-up phase after which they can then be bought by the State to be implemented in French classrooms. In concrete terms, this partnership acts as a stimulus for the development of the national EdTech sector. With the backing of the Ministry of Education, Lalilo was able to strategically form partnerships with Academies (districts) of Paris, Versailles, Creteil, and Montpellier.

“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.” Laurent Jolie, co-founder

Business model
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.

About Lalilo
Lalilo is a french edTech start-up founded in 2016 by 3 Polytechnique students after attending an entrepreneurship program at UC Berkeley (California). Lalilo’s mission is to end Illiteracy, #1 education problem that affects young students and is proven to have a critical impact on their educational and professional future.

Lalilo has built a revolutionary A.I-based learning software that helps every child learn how to read at their own pace, and empowers teachers to personalize learning in their classroom.

About Partech
Partech is a global investment firm with offices in San Francisco, Paris, Berlin and Dakar. We bring together capital, operational experience and strategic support for entrepreneurs at seed, venture and growth stages across multiple continents, with over €1.3B investment capacity. Investments range from $200K to $50M in a wide range of technologies and businesses for enterprises and consumers, from software, digital brands and services, to hardware and deep tech across all major industries. Companies backed by Partech have completed more than 20 initial public offerings and more than 50 strategic exits above $100M.

Our current portfolio: