LA-Based Numerade Brings Artificial Intelligence to Tutoring

Bernard Mendez
Bernard Mendez is an editorial intern at dot.LA. He attends UCLA, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics. Mendez was previously an editor at the Daily Bruin, the student newspaper at UCLA.
Numerade

There are a lot of companies that offer online lessons for students, but Numerade is betting its combination of tutor-driven service fueled by AI can break through the noise.

Numerade's subscription service boasts a database of over 1.2 million videos covering content for middle school, high school and college-level STEM courses, all made by its certified tutors. Using AI, the company lets users search the database to generate a customized lesson and quizzes for students.


The Los Angeles-based company announced a $26 million round of Series A funding this week led by IDG Capital and including General Catalyst, Mucker Capital and Kapor Capital.

More than 30,000 users are certified tutors on the platform to date, according to the company. Numerade charges users $9.99 a month or $83 annually.

Numerade isn't the only edtech company using AI to help the learning process. Companies like Quizlet have AI tools that generate step-by-step solutions for students. But unlike those platforms, Numerade uses video, which it sees as more digestible and interactive than text.

"By the end of the video, whether it's a minute long or six minutes long, the student will learn the process of how the educator got from point A to point Z," said Jonathan Gupta-Buckley, Numerade's vice president of growth. "So we don't give away the answer, we ensure that [students are] learning and growing while they're on our platform."

Investors have flocked to edtech during the pandemic, as forced school closures accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in the classroom.

Numerade will have to compete against existing video-based learning platforms such as Khan Academy, which already offer courses covering middle school to collegiate-level STEM courses.

But Numerade sees itself as a service that will open up the experience of private tutoring to a broader demographic, at a much cheaper price.

"The cost of private tutoring is absolutely exorbitant," Gupta-Buckley said. "By providing a service whereby a student can learn, grow and build their builder skill set within STEM at a fraction of the cost is an invaluable service."

Despite the return to in-person schooling, Numerade sees itself as a compliment to a student's normal course load.

"This pandemic opened people up to the idea of hybrid learning," Gupta-Buckley said. "So I think we will be seen as a complimentary platform to in-class education."

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