EarlyBird Education, a developer of a game-based early literacy assessment, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding, with investors including Amplify Capital, Flare Capital Partners, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Solve Innovation Future.

Needham, Massachusetts-based EarlyBird stated that the funding will be used to support the commercial launch of EarlyBird in this autumn and continued product enhancement.

Developed by Boston Children’s Hospital and faculty at the Florida Center for Reading Research, EarlyBird helps educators identify and support children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties, even before they learn to read. It does this through a cloud-based technology platform that incorporates a screening assessment, customised action plans, and evidence-based intervention resources for teachers.

Carla Small, co-founder and chief executive of EarlyBird Education, said: “Despite an intense focus on reading for decades in US schools, identification and intervention for struggling readers often comes too late, resulting in negative academic, social-emotional, and societal impacts. Our funding partners come from the worlds of education, health, and technology, and are keenly interested in transforming the way educators, parents, and physicians identify and support children at risk for reading difficulties.”

The current funding round follows a round that raised $i million to support the development of the screening assessment platform at Boston Children’s Hospital, and a two-year validation study. This included philanthropic funding from the Heckscher Foundation for Children, Oak Foundation, Poses Family Foundation, Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, and Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.

Casey van der Stricht, principal at Solve Innovation Future, said: “EarlyBird has a strong leadership team and science foundation, and is addressing a critically important, unmet need. We are thrilled to support EarlyBird and believe they have the potential for tremendous impact in the US and around the globe.”

Michael Greeley, general partner of Flare Capital Partners, added: “Our mission is to build transformational companies that will profoundly impact healthcare. With its deep research base, EarlyBird presents a significant opportunity to impact the learning trajectory and social-emotional health of millions of children.”

Date published: 6 May 2021

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